Alkaline carbonates give precipitates of basic carbonates, the formation of which is also retarded by the presence of ammonium salts.
They are soluble in water and give characteristic precipitates with platinic and auric chlorides, and with potassium ferrocyanide.
Owing to the high barrier which shuts off almost all Syria from the sea, and precipitates vapours mainly on the western slope, little of the land is highly productive without irrigation, except the narrow littoral strip which was the ancient Phoenicia, and the small deltas, such as that of Latakia (Laodicea).
Boyle recognized many reagents which gave precipitates with certain solutions: he detected sulphuric and hydrochloric acids by the white precipitates formed with calcium chloride and silver nitrate respectively; ammonia by the white cloud formed with the vapours of nitric or hydrochloric acids; and copper by the deep blue solution formed by a solution of ammonia.
Martin Heinrich Klaproth showed the necessity for igniting precipitates before weighing them, if they were not decomposed by this process; and he worked largely with Louis Nicolas Vauquelin in perfecting the analysis of minerals.