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Detection of Carbon and Hydrogen

The presence of carbon and hydrogen is detected by heating the compound with cupric oxide (CuO). Carbon present in the compound gets oxidized to carbon dioxide, which turns limewater milky (Fig. 18.8). Hydrogen in the organic compound gets oxidised by cupric oxide to water. It turns anhydrous copper sulphate (white colour) to hydrated copper sulphate (blue colour)

The reactions involved are
C + 2CuO  CO2 + Cu
Ca(OH)2 + CO2  CaCO3 + H2O
lime water                   (insoluble)
2H + CuO  Cu + H2O
CuSO4 + 5H2O  CuSO4 . 5H2O
   white                         blue
(anhydrous)               (hydrated)

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