flame test

flame test for various elements

Most elements will burn, and this fact is used in flame spectral analysis. The diagram shows simple flame tests and the color imparted to the flame by various elements.

In qualitative chemical analysis, a flame test is a test for the presence of metallic elements whose main spectral emission lines give characteristic colors in a Bunsen burner flame. A small amount of a salt of the metal is introduced into the flame by means of platinum wire first dipped in hydrochloric acid. Some metals and their colors are: lithium, red; sodium, yellow; potassium, lilac; strontium, crimson; barium, apple-green; copper, blue-green; lead and arsenic, blue.

For flame photometry see spectrophotometry.