Red flame test of lithium compound

Red flame test of lithium compound

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Credit: DAVID TAYLOR/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Flame test. Wire held in bunsen burner flame showing the red colouration indicative of lithium. The wire is made from nichrome, an alloy which does not colour a flame. It was cleaned and moistened with hydrochloric acid, and then dipped in a solid compound and held in a flame. The red colour produced indicates the presence of lithium, a metal, in the compound. The test works because the metal becomes excited due to the heat, and then loses energy as a visible colouration of the flame. All metals have a different flame spectrum, and the test is valuable as it is quick and easy to perform.

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Keywords: bunsen burner, chemical, chemistry, combustion, flame test, lithium, nichrome wire

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