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(Copyright assigned in November 1999 to Western Washington University)

WinQual is a laboratory simulation in which students study inorganic qualitative analysis. The program simulates experiments involving the chemistry of seven cations and four anions. Students can choose to determine the composition of unknowns involving these ions, or can start with water to explore their chemistry. 1905 randomly chosen unknowns are available at five different levels of difficulty.

Students work exactly as they would in a real lab, adding compounds, heating, centrifuging, decanting samples, and performing various tests to investigate sample composition. Photographs of actual experiments are displayed for every operation, providing the same visual clues the students would have in a lab setting.

WinQual has two modes of operation; it can be run either for exploring reactions or for solving unknowns. 

  • View the program's main screen, where students work on samples.

  • WinQual is a 32-bit Windows application, supported on Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows NT (DOS and Macintosh versions of this program were available previously.)

    Obtaining WinQual

    WinQual can be downloaded here free of charge. Unregistered copies allow exploring reactions and solving the easiest level of unknowns, but do not allow experiments to be saved in or loaded from files. If you purchase a license for the software, a registration code will be provided which allows all of the features to work.

    IMPORTANT: If you obtained this software prior to December 1, 1999, you will need to download another copy because it has been updated since then.

  • Begin downloading WinQual now (approximately 1.4 mb).
  • Registering WinQual

    Three types of licenses are available (prices in U.S. Dollars):

    Single copy license - $115

    Twelve copy license - $325

    Unlimited site license - $975, the site license allows students to run the software at home!

    To purchase a license and obtain a registration code, please visit http://www.shareit.com. Enter WinQual in the Express Registration box.

    Unknown Mode

    When solving unknowns, students choose the level of difficulty they want and then receive a randomly generated unknown. The unknown contains up to seven different cations (Sodium, Nickel, Magnesium, Silver, Chromium, Zinc, Lead) and up to four anions, (Iodide, Chloride, Nitrate, Sulfate). Students can add various compounds to samples to aid in determining their composition. Added compounds can be prepared from the eleven ions used for unknowns and also from Hydrogen, Ammonium, and Hydroxide ions. Water and Ammonia can also be added. Nitrate brown ring and Sodium flame tests are available, and samples can be heated, centrifuged, and decanted. Real pictures of each sample are shown before and after each operation. A history of all the operations performed on any sample is available by right-clicking the sample. 
  • View the sample history screen, where students can see what has been done to any sample.

  • View the answer screen, where students enter their answer after solving an unknown.

  • View the results screen, where students compare their results to the correct answer.
  • Explore Mode

    When exploring reactions, the student begins with water instead of an unknown. The exact same operations and ions are available as when solving unknowns. The current composition of any sample can be obtained by right-clicking the sample. This mode is useful for students to explore various reactions or to recreate a specific lab experiment.

  • View a screen showing sample composition.
  • Beginning Exercise and Full Lab Experiment

    Both a beginning exercise and a full lab experiment are included with WinQual as Word 97 documents.

    A Beginning Exercise in WinQual (qualintro.doc) will help the user to quickly become familiar with the power and features of the program.

    Inorganic Qualitative Analysis (qualsim.doc) is a full laboratory experiment using the Explore Reactions mode of the program. It allows the student to systematically characterize the chemistry of all the program ions and prepares the student to tackle unknowns.

    Instructor Utility

    A utility is available which enables the instructor to build specific unknowns for students. These unknowns are saved in files which students can load later. The utility is free to registered licensees and can be obtained by e-mailing the following to chemdept@chem.wwu.edu.

    1) Request the Unknown Builder Utility
    2) Name of Instructor
    3) School E-mail Address of Instructor
    4) Type of License Purchased (Single, Twelve, Site)

    The utility will be sent as an attachment to an e-mail message.

    More Information

    For more information about WinQual please contact chemdept@chem.wwu.edu.
  • Return to the WWU Chemistry Department Page.
  • This page was last updated on 1/6/00.