Of recent years the introduction of various organic compounds as precipitants or reagents has reduced the labour of the process; and advantage has also been taken of the fairly complex double salts which these metals form with compounds.
The blood of most species behaves differentially towards precipitants, and it is therefore conceivable that when blood is used as food and is elaborated into special compounds for the nutrition of the reproductive organs of a parasite, these specific or larger differences in the blood of animal hosts may prevent the ripening of the gonads of a widely diffused parasite and only one particular kind of blood prove suitable.
The precipitants in use are: ferrous sulphate, charcoal and sulphuretted hydrogen, either alone or mixed with sulphur dioxide; the use of copper and iron sulphides has been suggested, but apparently these substances have achieved no success.
Other precipitants of phosphoric acid or its salts in solution are: ammonium molybdate in nitric acid, which gives on heating a canary-yellow precipitate of ammonium phosphomolybdate, 12[M00 3] (NH 4) 3 PO 4, insoluble in acids but readily soluble in ammonia; magnesium chloride, ammonium chloride and ammonia, which give on standing in a warm place a white crystalline precipitate of magnesium ammonium phosphate, Mg(NH 4)PO 4.6H 2 0, which is soluble in acids but highly insoluble in ammonia solutions, and on heating to redness gives magnesium pyrophosphate, Mg 2 P 2 0 7; uranic nitrate and ferric chloride, which give a yellowish-white precipitate, soluble in hydrochloric acid and ammonia, but insoluble in acetic acid; mercurous nitrate which gives a white precipitate, soluble in nitric acid, and bismuth nitrate which gives a white precipitate, insoluble in nitric acid.
Other precipitants such as sulphuretted hydrogen and solutions of sulphides, which precipitate the copper as sulphides, and milk of lime, which gives copper oxides, have not met with commercial success.