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May 10, 2011
A Complete Diversion: Purple Compounds
I had to use some potassium permanganate a little while back - first time in years I'd had any of it out in the lab, and I was reminded of just what a spectacular purple color the stuff has.
There's some of it dissolving in water, via Flickr, and it's hard to beat for sheer purplelosity. But the solid doesn't look as impressive; it's quite dark (which is probably how it makes such an intense color on dissolution). So what's the best purple solid in the lab?
I have to promote my personal favorite, chromium (III) chloride (image courtesy of the Wikipedia entry).
That's a pretty good shot, but it really should be experienced in person. The stuff is metallic purple flakes, weirdly reflective - it looks like it should be the color of a custom racer's hood, rather than anything you'd actually order from a chemical supply house. Now all I have to do is find a use for it in the lab. . .
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