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June 16 2011 5 16 /06 /June /2011 13:12

Warning: Flames can burn. Keep flammables out of flames. Many metals and their salts are toxic. Do not eat or drink them. As long as you do not make more than 1/2 gram of manganese(II) chloride, you may dispose of it down the drain.


You will need:


One or more of these: copper(II) chloride, lithium compound (LiCl is best, but LiOH can be used), sodium compound (NaCl is best), potassium compound (whichever one is most abundant, KCl is best), calcium compound (CaCl2 is best), strontium compound, barium compound, zinc compound, iron compound, cesium compound, rubidium compound, boron compound, manganese compound.

Nichrome wire



Flame tests are an interesting part of home chemistry. They are colors produced when certain substances get heated. These colors are the result of heat exciting the electrons in the atoms of the chemical. They soon fall back down, emitting electromagnetic radiation. Some just happens to be in the visible spectrum.


A little word of preparation on the above chemicals:


CuCl2: Already stated here (http://lanthanumkchemistry.over-blog.com/article-how-to-make-copper-ii-chloride-76079848.html)


LiCl: React LiOH or Li2CO3 with HCl until pH is about neutral. Dry with heat.


NaCl: Table salt.


KCl: React KOH or K2CO3 with HCl until pH is about neutral and dry. Or use salt substitute.


CaCl2: Some ice melts have this in them. Or CaCO3 or Ca(OH)2 with HCl until pH is about neutral and dry.


SrCl2: SrCO3 from pottery store in HCl until pH is about neutral. Dry.


BaSO4: Ask a doctor for a barium meal and dry some of it.


ZnCl2: Dissolve zinc in HCl and dry with heat.


FeCl2: Dissolve iron in HCl and dry without much oxidation.


CsCl: Difficult to obtain.


RbCl: Difficult to obtain.

B2O3: Purchase boric acid eye wash.


MnCl2: Dissolve MnO2 in HCl, filter and dry.


You may already have most of these salts. If you do, then dip a nichrome wire in HCl and heat it. Repeat this process several times to get the wire clean. Then moisten the wire and dip it in the chemical. Some crystals should stick on. Heat it in the flame. You should see the flame color. CuCl2 bright green, LiCl crimson, NaCl yellow, KCl light lilac, CaCl2 red-orange, SrCl2 red, BaSO4 yellow-green, ZnCl2 light green, FeCl2 golden yellow, CsCl blue, RbCl red, B2O3 light green, and MnCl2 light yellow-green.


Later, an experiment similar to this will be done; only the later experiment is combustion and flame color, not just heating and flame color.


A flame test can also be made by adding some of each salt to FancyHeat(R) methanol gel. The salt will dissolve in the gel and produce the respective flame color when the gel is ignited.




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Published by LanthanumK - in Experiments
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Buy Articles 06/20/2011 01:36

I find this information very useful and it has considerably saved my time.thanks.

LanthanumK 06/20/2011 13:19

You're welcome.

Maverick 06/17/2011 23:52

It actually interesting why this happens, when you apply energy(heat) to an element its valence electrons get excited and jump from their ground state to excited state. so they jump to the next
electron shell( couldnt think of a better phrase), but they are not stable there so when they fall back down to their ground state light is emitted in the form of energy being released