Flame Tests

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billbillt
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Flame Tests

#1 Post by billbillt » Mon Nov 12, 2018 4:00 pm

I had forgotten about this simple test that is lots of fun... Great for young budding chemists to do and learn...

How to Do Flame Tests for Qualitative Analysis..

https://www.thoughtco.com/perform-and-i ... =bouncex15

BillT

Bryan
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Re: Flame Tests

#2 Post by Bryan » Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:08 pm

I work in the hazardous waste cleanup industry, we used to test oil with what is called the Beilstein, or copper wire test. It's very similar to the test described in your link but it was commonly used to test for chlorinated compounds in oil like PCB's. If the oil was chlorinated it would emit a green flame. It's not used much anymore because of the toxic chemicals that are released when you burn chlorinated oil, plus there are now better methods like chemical test kits.

MicroBob
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Re: Flame Tests

#3 Post by MicroBob » Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:41 pm


PeteM
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Re: Flame Tests

#4 Post by PeteM » Tue Nov 13, 2018 12:02 am

I learned about flame tests around fifth or sixth grade -- and started testing chemicals surplused (to me!) from the high school chem lab in a Bunsen burner. Also learned (and haven't forgotten) it might not be a good idea to stick a still-somewhat-warm nichrome wire into a jar of powdered benzoyl peroxide . .

billbillt
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Re: Flame Tests

#5 Post by billbillt » Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:59 am

PeteM wrote:I learned about flame tests around fifth or sixth grade -- and started testing chemicals surplused (to me!) from the high school chem lab in a Bunsen burner. Also learned (and haven't forgotten) it might not be a good idea to stick a still-somewhat-warm nichrome wire into a jar of powdered benzoyl peroxide . .
This was the reason I posted it... It is a good exercise to stimulate young minds...

billbillt
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Re: Flame Tests

#6 Post by billbillt » Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:06 am

Here is another little gem most will remember:

The Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments
https://sciencenotes.org/the-golden-boo ... nned-book/


I had a copy when I was a kid and had great fun....

Hobbyst46
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Re: Flame Tests

#7 Post by Hobbyst46 » Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:55 am

billbillt wrote:Here is another little gem most will remember:

The Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments
https://sciencenotes.org/the-golden-boo ... nned-book/


I had a copy when I was a kid and had great fun....
This book might have been desirable, but IMHO it is an inappropriate book for young people who intend to perform experiments at home. It suggests experiments with strong acid, strong alkali, chlorine, heated sulfur and other dangerous materials without serious considerations of the dangers involved and without proper safety instructions. Proper ventilation, hand protection, eye protection, are not to be taken lightly. Unbelievably, this book does not even mention safety goggles, although in the year 1960, when it was printed, safety goggles were already known. The book is nicely illustrated, in the old style, though.
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apochronaut
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Re: Flame Tests

#8 Post by apochronaut » Tue Nov 13, 2018 2:35 pm

We just used to put 303 shells in a vice and hit them with a center punch in a stone walled basement. That was the test for granite. or we would tie 40 cherry bombs together with identical length fuses in the sand pit. That was the test for soil moisture content. or we used to ignite heavily glued balsa wood gliders and see how far they would fly from a third story window before they came down. That was the test for atmospheric pressure.

billbillt
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Re: Flame Tests

#9 Post by billbillt » Tue Nov 13, 2018 2:55 pm

As I have already mentioned, I had a copy when I was young and did a lot of the experiments listed there without mishap... Possibly today's children are coddled to the excess... Generation after generation of wimpy kids are being produced...

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Re: Flame Tests

#10 Post by desertrat » Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:23 pm

Speaking of dangerous home chemistry experiments, this one published in England in 1875 would have freaked out the authors of the above mentioned banned book:

https://books.google.com/books?id=BIgDA ... ng&f=false

Many of the chemicals that could be bought over-the-counter in 1875 are probably not available to individuals nowadays in most countries.

In the forward:
Some of the Experiments may well be omitted by children; notably those concerned with hydrocyanic acid, mercuric chloride, and other poisonous substances. A warning is given where danger is to be apprehended.
Rick

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Re: Flame Tests

#11 Post by PeteM » Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:30 pm

Hobbyst46 wrote: . . .This book might have been desirable, but IMHO it is an inappropriate book for young people who intend to perform experiments at home. It suggests experiments with strong acid, strong alkali, chlorine, heated sulfur and other dangerous materials without serious considerations of the dangers involved and without proper safety instructions. Proper ventilation, hand protection, eye protection, are not to be taken lightly. Unbelievably, this book does not even mention safety goggles, although in the year 1960, when it was printed, safety goggles were already known. The book is nicely illustrated, in the old style, though.
[/quote]

Hard to know where the balance is between curiosity creating adults who contribute to the world and curiosity killing the metaphorical cat. I suspect, these days, more kids are killed walking and driving while texting than in chemistry/physics/biology/robotics/electronics etc. experiments gone wrong.

Most kids who've become scientists or engineers seem, like Apochronaut, to have experiments with carbon, sulfur, and potassium nitrate in their past. I can recall reading somewhere that adding an acid to sawdust would turn it into a sugar overnight. I can state with ten-year old certainty that there must be more to it than that . . .

Seems to me the best balance is adults who take an interest in kids and put just enough of guardrails around their explorations to have surprises that do minimal harm??

Bill -- thanks for the Golden Book link -- a blast from the past. Hobbyist -- point taken.

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Re: Flame Tests

#12 Post by billbillt » Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:52 pm

" experiments with carbon, sulfur, and potassium nitrate"

Yes, that was one of the prime motives for a 12 year old was making black powder.....

BillT

Hobbyst46
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Re: Flame Tests

#13 Post by Hobbyst46 » Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:27 pm

billbillt wrote:" experiments with carbon, sulfur, and potassium nitrate"

Yes, that was one of the prime motives for a 12 year old was making black powder.....

BillT
Agreed. As similarly demonstrated by the youngsters in "The Willoughby Captains"...
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MicroBob
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Re: Flame Tests

#14 Post by MicroBob » Tue Nov 13, 2018 10:48 pm

PeteM wrote:Seems to me the best balance is adults who take an interest in kids and put just enough of guardrails around their explorations to have surprises that do minimal harm??
This is probably just the right recipe. It's round about how I grew up, and how I educate my boys. So far a good success. One problem is that other parents start talking stupid stuff like "They are throwing knives and spit fire" without mentioning that this takes place under surveillance and away from themselves.
On the other hand side the availability of dangerous stuff has also lead to harm, immediate and long term, and it is also an achievement of our time to take resonsibility for the risks. This counts especially for a work environment where people have to do with harmful substances out of sheer need for an income.

As so often the best way is not the easy to find extreme way. It is the one on the blades edge that you have to adjust by closely monitoring and frequent adjustments.

Bob

P.S.: My mother reports of me coming home from school at about 10 years old, deep in thought, marching directly into the basement to my "chemistry laboratory table". One huge flash of flame and one white faced Bob later I was ready for lunch. Not true of cause since I can't remember it. :lol:

Rodney
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Re: Flame Tests

#15 Post by Rodney » Fri Nov 16, 2018 3:03 am

Got to remember that nothing would have ever been learned and documented if it were not for experiments in the past, and i`m saying going way back in time. History is a very important part of anything. I had several chemistry sets when I was 11,12,and 13, blew one test tube up into our white ceiling, my parents white ceiling that is, no fix for that other than new primer and paint.
Some seem to be really interested in making meth labs in this area and others, I doubt they learned this in school, since you have the old drug school rules and the dopers new how to do it..
No reason to hide from anything if you know what you are doing, otherwise learn or stay away. I never thought at the time that you could flush a cherry bomb down the toilet and blow the toilet up.
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Mintaka
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Re: Flame Tests

#16 Post by Mintaka » Fri Nov 16, 2018 6:28 am

That was a fun experiment, and I too remember it from secondary school. The principles underlying the colours are used to its full extent in the analytical field of atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS), where instruments are sensitive enough to make even quantitative analysis, sometimes of a mixture of metal ions.

Pretty cool.

billbillt
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Re: Flame Tests

#17 Post by billbillt » Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:44 pm

Mintaka wrote:That was a fun experiment, and I too remember it from secondary school. The principles underlying the colours are used to its full extent in the analytical field of atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS), where instruments are sensitive enough to make even quantitative analysis, sometimes of a mixture of metal ions.

Pretty cool.
Yes, it may spark an interest in chemistry/science with youngsters..... My main reason for posting it...
BillT

billbillt
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Re: Flame Tests

#18 Post by billbillt » Sun Nov 25, 2018 5:24 pm

Experiments must follow the "Scientific Method" to be valid... Just random dabbling with something will prove nothing...

BillT

Evanpurdom
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Re: Flame Tests

#19 Post by Evanpurdom » Thu Dec 13, 2018 5:36 am

Yeah!! It is a good exercise to activate young minds.

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Mintaka
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Re: Flame Tests

#20 Post by Mintaka » Thu Dec 13, 2018 7:46 am

billbillt wrote:Experiments must follow the "Scientific Method" to be valid... Just random dabbling with something will prove nothing...

BillT
Perhaps, but often useful discoveries are made this way. Sometimes even accidentally. So, for example, has my dabbling in marriage led to marvelous and awesome discoveries about the female mind. I'm hoping to get a paper out of it, but fear it may be the last thing I ever write. ;)

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Re: Flame Tests

#21 Post by billbillt » Thu Dec 13, 2018 1:44 pm

Mintaka wrote:
billbillt wrote:Experiments must follow the "Scientific Method" to be valid... Just random dabbling with something will prove nothing...

BillT
Perhaps, but often useful discoveries are made this way. Sometimes even accidentally. So, for example, has my dabbling in marriage led to marvelous and awesome discoveries about the female mind. I'm hoping to get a paper out of it, but fear it may be the last thing I ever write. ;)
Hardly... The female mind is as enigmatic as always... A person without any scientific training is hardly a good researcher....

BILLT

billbillt
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Re: Flame Tests

#22 Post by billbillt » Thu Dec 13, 2018 2:14 pm

A GOOD INDICATION,.....
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