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How do chemists perform a flame test?

How do chemists perform a flame test?

Flame tests are used to identify the presence of a relatively small number of metal ions in a compound. Clean a platinum or nichrome (a nickel-chromium alloy) wire by dipping it into concentrated hydrochloric acid and then holding it in a hot Bunsen flame. Repeat this until the wire produces no color in the flame.

What could a chemist use a flame test for in the lab?

A flame test is a procedure used to test qualitatively for the presence of certain metals in chemical compounds. When the compound to be studied is excited by heating it in a flame, the metal ions will begin to emit light.

How do you perform a flame test in a lab?


  1. Light the Bunsen burner and adjust it so that it has a hot blue flame.
  2. Using a clean flame test wire, dip it into one of the solutions and then hold it in the hottest part of the burner flame.
  3. Observe the color of the flame.
  4. Carefully record your observations in the data table.

What is a flame test lab?

The flame test is used to visually determine the identity of an unknown metal or metalloid ion based on the characteristic color the salt turns the flame of a bunsen burner. The heat of the flame converts the metal ions into atoms which become excited and emit visible light.

What color flame is magnesium?

Normally one demonstrates magnesium burning by getting it started in the Bunsen flame, and then removing it so that it burns in air with a blinding white light. The product is a white smoke. This product can be collected by burning the magnesium under an inverted beaker, showing it is a solid, a white ash — MgO.

What is the principle of flame test?

The test involves introducing a sample of the element or compound to a hot, non-luminous flame, and observing the color of the flame that results. The idea of the test is that sample atoms evaporate and since they are hot, they emit light when being in flame.

Are flame tests valuable for detecting metals?

Flame tests are utilised in chemistry to identify the metal ions in compounds. They are more useful for some metals than others; particularly for the Group 1 metals, they provide a good way of quickly identifying the metal ion present.

What happens during a flame test?

Does magnesium burn with a flame?

Magnesium burns with a bright, white flame. Magnesium gets very hot when it burns. Some fire extinguishers use carbon dioxide to put out fires.

Why does magnesium not have a flame Colour?

Magnesium chloride imparts no color to a flame. No color is imparted to the flame by magnesium chloride. A few tinges of yellow-orange sodium color appear as a consequence of traces of sodium impurity in the magnesium chloride solution.

Which metal can not give flame test?

Beryllium and magnesium do not give color to flame whereas other alkaline earth metals do so.

What gives a flame test?

Because each element has an exactly defined line emission spectrum, scientists are able to identify them by the color of flame they produce. For example, copper produces a blue flame, lithium and strontium a red flame, calcium an orange flame, sodium a yellow flame, and barium a green flame.

How to do a flame test in the lab?

Flame Test Lab Activity Key Note: If chloride compounds are not available, metal nitrate compounds may be substituted. Use dilute or approximately 0.1 M solutions Unknowns: Number the beakers 1-12. Add solutions as follows: 1. Strontium Chloride 7. Calcium Chloride 2. Calcium Chloride 8. Strontium Chloride 3. Potassium Chloride 9.

When is the best time to use a flame test?

The best time to use this lab is when teaching the following concepts: atomic structure, electron configurations, energy levels, ground state and excited state. Background: A flame test is used to detect the presence of certain metal ions. The test involves heating a sample of the element and observing the resulting color of the flame.

How to test Li + ions in a flame?

When doing all the flames tests, only use each wire in the solution that is next to in order to avoid contamination. Place a bit of LiCl ( s) powder onto a clean Nichrome wire. Then, place the wire and crystal in the flame right above the dark blue center of the fire. The color of the flame will change due to emission from the Li + ions.

How are cations tested in a flame test?

For each cation to be tested there will be a pair of test tubes. One will contain water and the Nichrome wire; the other tube will contain the cation solution.