Method

  1. Take a piece of nichrome wire with a loop at one end.
  2. Dip the loop in the concentrated hydrochloric acid and place in the hot blue flame of the Bunsen burner.
  3. Repeat until the flame is no longer coloured, i.e. impurities are removed.
  4. Dip the clean nichrome wire in concentrated hydrochloric acid and the wire onto the solid ionic compound which is sitting in a watch glass.
  5. Hold the loop with the solid ionic compound in the hottest part of the flame and record the characteristic colour.
  6. Repeat for all the solid ionic compounds available, cleaning the wire loop each time.

Table of Results

Metal IonObserved colourActual colour
Sodium⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Yellow/orange
Calcium⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Brick red
Potassium⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Lilac
Copper⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Green-blue/Blue-green
Lithium⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Crimson