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Name: Larry
Status: educator
Grade: 9-12
Location: OR
Country: N/A
Date: May 2006

Can I use isopropyl alcohol instead of ethanol to dissolve dimethylglyoxime for use in a nickel test? I am using the test to confirm nickel in the iron of meteorites. It is more convenient to buy 99% isopropyl alcohol at drugstores than to buy ethanol.


You should be able to use IPA instead of EtOH, though you might be required to use larger volumes if it is less soluble. The only issue that I can see is that dimethylglyoxime is insoluble in water, which is what the other 1% of you 99% IPA is most likely to be. The easiest way is to try it for youself, as IPA is not expensive. You might also want to try gentle heating, though always excercise caution when heating flammable solvents--submerging the vessel in a warm to hot water bath is the safest way to gently heat your mixture.

Matt Voss

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