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Cigarette Ash Under the Microscope

Cigarette Ash

Transmitted Off Crossed Polarized Light Illumination


Significance in the Environment:

Cigarette ash may be the result of smoking cigarettes at that location or may be transported on the clothing of a person who smokes cigarettes.

Characteristic Features:

Cigarette ash is a bit unique among the plant ashes because of the potassium nitrate added to the tobacco to keep the cigarette burning. The result is that the ash is associated with a significant amount of highly birefirngent small crystals. Often the amount of charred plant matter is quite small compared to the associated mass of small highly birefringent crystals.

Associated Particles: