Abstract

The green flame of the Beilstein test, a familiar sight to all chemists, has been used for the identification of chlorine, bromine, and iodine in organic compounds for over a century. The test was first reported in 1872 by F. Beilstein, from whom it takes its name, as a method of determining the presence of and approximate amounts of halogen in organic compounds. He attributed the flame test to Berzelius who had used it to detect the halogen in inorganic compounds, but this fact seems to have been over-looked with the passage of time, for Berzelius is never mentioned in the literature in connection with the test.

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