SPRAY FLAME SPECTROSCOPY
STEM Collegian Center Project
Leke Abondem Atabong
7 December 2007
Prof. William A. Boyle
THE FLAME TEST EXPERIMENT
It is one of the earliest analytical techniques in
It identifies elements by the colors they
produce in flames.
There are many ways of performing this test;
each of which has its pros and cons.
Wooden splint, cotton swab, loop, spray bottle
This project considered two of these methods:
the loop and the spray bottle methods.
Involves the use of a wire inoculation loop
(platinum wire is desirable), a Bunsen burner
and solutions of salts containing the elements.
The wire inoculation loop is cleaned between
tests by keeping it in the flame until all the
color due to the element is gone.
Inadequate cleaning of the loop can make color
SPRAY BOTTLE METHOD
Introduces a mist of
solutions directly into
No problems of color
5% solutions of
60 mL spray bottles.
LOOP METHOD SPRAY BOTTLE METHOD
High cost of platinum Affordable spray bottles.
Easy to clean and maintain.
Difficult to eliminate
element contamination Uses comparable amounts
from nichrome-steel wire of solutions as the loop
(a less expensive method.
substitute for platinum).
No flame color
Flame color contamination.
Time consuming. Faster to use.
The loop method was time-consuming and
prone to errors in the colors produced.
The spray bottle method is faster and produces
the clean colors of each element.
The plastic spray bottles used in this experiment
were kindly provided to PGCC courtesy of
B.F. Ascher & Co., Inc., Lenexa, KS, USA.
Dogancay, Deborah. "Flame Tests Performed Safely: A
Safe and Effective Alternative to the Traditional Flame
Test." The Science Teacher 72.6 (2005): 34-38.
Science Resource Center. Thomso Gale. Prince
George's Community College Library. 6 Dec. 2007
Johnson, Kristin, and Rodney Schreiner. "A Dramatic
Flame Test Demonstration." Journal of Chemical
Education 78.5 (2001): 640-41. 6 Dec. 2007