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Flame Test Lab Report

Essay by   •  May 10, 2011  •  Lab Report  •  826 Words (4 Pages)  •  11,807 Views

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Flame Test

Purpose: The purpose of this lab was to see what color the metal created when its electrons were excited


Laboratory burner,

Scoop or spatula

Weighing dishes

7 Wooden splints soaked in water

7 Water {distilled or deionized}


Copper (II) chloride, CuCl2'2H20, 0.5 g

Lithium chloride, LiCI, 0.5 g

Potassium chloride, KCI, 0.5 g

Sodium chloride, NaCI, 0.5 g

Strontium chloride, SrC12.6H2O, 0.5 g Unknown metal chloride, 0.5 g

Introduction: By placing atoms of a metal into a flame, electrons can be induced to absorb energy and jump to an excited energy state. They then return to their ground state by emitting a photon of light. The arrangement of electrons in an atom determines the sizes of the excited state and colors of the collection of photons emitted. The amount of energy in the photon determines its color.


1. Fill a 250-mL beaker about half-full with distilled or deionized water. Obtain seven wooden splints that have been soaked in distilled or deionized water. Place them in this beaker of water to continue soaking at your lab station.

2. Fill a second 250-mL beaker about half-full with tap water. Label this beaker "rinse water".

3. Label seven weighing dishes Ca, Cu, Li, Na, K, Sr, and unknown. Place one scoopful (about 0.5 g) of each solid metal chloride into the corresponding weighing dish.

4. Light the laboratory burner.

5. Dip the soaked end of one of the wooden splints in one of the metal chlorides, then place it in the flame. Observe the color of the flame. Allow the splint to burn until the color fades. Try not to allow any of the solid to fall into the barrel of the laboratory burner. If necessary, repeat the test with the same splint and additional salt.

6. Immerse the wooden splint in the "rinse water" to extinguish it, then discard it in the trash. Record your observations for the flame color produced by the metal chloride in the Data Table.

8. Repeat Steps 5-7 for the other five metal chlorides. Record your observations for the

flame color produced by each metal ion in the Data Table.

9. Perform a flame test on an unknown metal chloride and record its characteristic color(s) and the probable identity of the unknown in the Data Table.

Observations and data:

Metal Ion Color of Flame

Calcium Orange

Copper Green

Lithium Red



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