2:45 describe how to carry out a flame test

A flame test is used to show the presence of certain metal ions (cations) in a compound.

  • A platinum or nichrome wire is dipped into concentrated hydrochloric acid to remove any impurities.
  • The wire is dipped into the salt being tested so some salt sticks to the end.
  • The wire and salt are held in a non-luminous (roaring) bunsen burner flame.
  • The colour is observed.

Properties of the platinum or nichrome wire is:

  • Inert
  • High melting point