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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 6 Issue 2 (2001) pp 97-99

The Oxidation of Luminol an Experiment to Maximize the Efficiency of Chemiluminescence from Luminol

Carlos Bustos,* Guillermo Salgado, and Cecilia López

*Universidad Austral de Chile, Casilla 567, Valdivia, Chile, Deutsche Schule Santiago, Casilla 129, Correo 30, Santiago, Chile
Received September 25, 2000. Accepted January 17, 2001

Published online: 16 February 2001

Abstract. In this work, seven inorganic salts, KCl, Na2SO4, MgSO4·7H2O, ZnCl2, Na2CrO4, CuSO4·5H2O, and K3[Fe(CN)6], were used as catalysts to induce chemiluminescent luminol oxidation in alkaline aqueous media. It was observed that simple salts containing either Mg2+, Zn2+, Na+ and K+ cations or SO42 and Cl anions, are not active as catalysts. On the other hand, the relative order of activity detected for the active chemiluminescent salts containing Fe(III), Cu(II)and Cr(VI) cations is K3[Fe(CN)6] > CuSO4·5H2O> Na2CrO4. The intensity of the emitted light agrees with the standard reduction potentials of the corresponding redox couple and with the presence of paramagnetic species in the aqueous solutions. The inhibition effect of mannitol was also studied.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations;  general chemistry; inorganic salts; chemiluminescent salts

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Issue date: April 6, 2001

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