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.

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.


  • Goggles
  • Splints dipped in metal salts
  • Matches
  • Bunsen Burner
  • Safety (heatproof) Mat

Risk assessment

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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.  After that I would turn the flame on the Bunsen burner ...

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