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Preparation.--Iodine is mostly prepared from kelp, or the half vitrified ashes of seaweed, prepared by the inhabitants of the western islands, and the northern shores of Scotland and Ireland. It is treated with water, which washes out all the soluble salts, and the filtered solution is evaporated until nearly all the carbonate of soda and other saline matters have crystallized out. The remaining liquor, which contains the iodine, is mixed with successive portions of sulphuric acid in a leaden retort, and after standing some days to allow the sulphureted hydrogen, etc., to escape, peroxide of manganese is added, and the whole gently heated. Iodine distills over in a purple vapor, and is condensed in a receiver, or in a series of two-necked globes.
Properties.--Iodine is solid at the ordinary temperature, presenting the appearance of dark-grey or purple spangles, possessing a high degree of metallic lustre. It somewhat resembles plumbago, with which it is sometimes diluted, particularly when it is fine. Operators should endeavor to secure the larger crystals. It melts at 224.6 deg., forming a brown or nearly black liquid. It boils at about 356 deg., and emits a very deep violet colored vapor. It gives off a very appreciable vapor, sufficient for all purposes of forming the iodide of silver on the daguerreotype plate, at a temperature of 45 deg. or even lower. Iodine crystallizes readily. Every operator has found upon the side of the jar in his coating-box, perfectly regular crystals, deposited there by sublimation.
Water dissolves but a small proportion of iodine, requiring 7000 parts of water to dissolve one of iodine,
or one grain to the gallon of water. Alcohol and ether dissolve it freely, as does a solution of nitrate or hydrochlorate of ammonia and of iodides.
The density of solid iodine is 4.95; that of its vapor 8.716. It greatly resembles chlorine and bromine in its combinations, but its affinities are weaker. It does not destroy the majority of organic substances, and vegetable colors generally resist its action. It combines with several organic substances, imparting to them peculiar colors. It colors the skin brown, but the stain soon disappears.
Chloride of Iodine--Is formed by passing chlorine into a bottle containing some iodine. This can be readily done by pouring one ounce and a half of muriatic acid upon a quarter of an ounce of powdered black oxide of manganese, and heat it gradually in a flask, to which is adapted a bent glass tube. This tube must connect with the bottle containing the iodine, and the yellowish-green gas disengaged will readily combine with the iodine, forming a deep red liquid, and the operation is complete. The use of chloride of iodine will be referred to in connection with the Accelerators.
Iodides.--The iodide treated with the oil of vitriol, instantly produces a considerable deposit of iodine; and if the mixture be heated, intense violent vapors are disengaged. The reaction is due to the decomposition of oil of vitriol by iodohydric acid, water and sulphurous acid being formed, and iodine set free. The iodides in solution are decomposed by chlorine, iodine being precipitated, the smallest quantity of which in solution is instantly detected by its imparting to starch an intensely blue color.
Iodide of Potassium.*--This compound is easily made in the following manner: Subject to a moderate heat a mixture of 100 parts of iodine, 75 of carbonate of potash, 30 of iron filings, and 120 parts of water. This mass must be thoroughly dried and then heated to redness; the resulting reddish powder is to be washed with water, and the solution obtained filtered, and evaporated to dryness. It is found that 100 parts of iodine yield 135 parts of very white, but slightly alkaline, iodide of potassium.
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