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Flame Test Experiment

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´╗┐Flame Test Flame tests are used to identify the presence of a specific metal within a substance. Metals change the colour of a flame when they are heated, different metals give different colors. Flame tests are useful for confirming the results of a precipitate test. For example, an unknown solution that produced a pale blue precipitate with sodium hydroxide solution, and a green-blue flame test, must contain a copper compound. The test helps confirm which Metal it is. http://faculty.sdmiramar.edu/fgarces/labmatters/instruments/aa/Pic_AAS/flameTest.gif To identify an alkali metal, a flame test must be used instead of a sodium hydroxide precipitate test. This is because the alkali metals do not form precipitates with sodium hydroxide. Science behind flame tests By providing heat energy (flame) to the substance, the electrons within the substance gain a higher energy level from ground state energy; this is due to the heat which is provided. As the energy increases the electrons become unstable and begin to move around more, when the electrons move back to state energy the energy taken in is given out within specific wavelength which gives out different colours. Depending on the substance, the colours of the flame vary which is then measured using the emission spectrum. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/52/Emission_spectrum-Fe.svg/757px-Emission_spectrum-Fe.svg.png Apparatus * Goggles * Splints dipped in metal salts * Matches * Bunsen Burner * Safety (heatproof) Mat Risk assessment Name of hazard Hazard Safety Precautions Emergency Action Risk Level Bunsen Burner (Could start a fire) ...read more.


If it does come into contact with the eyes then wash the eye immediately with warm water. If it persists then go to the first aid. Medium Copper Carbonate (Harmful) Can be dangerous if inhaled and can cause irritation to the skin if it comes in contact. Do not breathe near it or try to inhale it in. The chemical should be handled safely. First of all it comes into contact with the skin then you should immediately wash it off, then go seek medical attention. Medium/low Potassium Carbonate (Irritant) If it comes into contact with the skin or eyes it will cause irritation. Handle the chemical safely so it doesn?t get in contact with the skin, also wear goggles at all times to prevent it going in the eyes. If it does come into contact with the eyes then wash the eye immediately with warm water, also wash if it touches the skin. If it persists then go seek medical attention. Medium Method Before stating the experiment I would first start off by preparing a results table for my experiment, then I would take safety precautions such as wearing goggles. After the safety precautions I would then setup my equipment carefully. After setting up my equipment I will then be ready to start the experiment. To start my I would then light up the Bunsen burner using the matches, when I am finished with my matches I would then make sure that the fire on the match has gone out. ...read more.


Flame test can be used quickly and easily. Flame tests are very cost effective and are very efficient. Limitations of the flame tests are that it cannot detect low concentrations of most ions. Some compounds do not change the colour of the flame at all. The brightness of the colour varies so there could be a mix up between the colours. During my test I found out that I had an anomaly which was potassium which gave me an orange colour which wasn?t correct compared to other results. To fix this anomalous result I would repeat the experiment again doing only the potassium to see if this can get fixed. I would do this to get more reliable results. This anomaly may have been caused by many different reasons, this may be because I may have used the wrong splint or the metal was contaminated. To fix this result I would repeat my experiment again to get accurate results. Limitations of a flame test * The first limitation of the test is that the test cannot detect low concentrations of most ions. * The brightness of the flame varies for example the colour of barium is pale green whilst the colour of copper is green/blue as well which means that it will be hard to tell which metal the colour of test represents. * There could be another metal mixed in with the mixture/solution. A compound is an example and this could result in the change of the colour. * Some compounds do not change the colour of the flame ...read more.

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