Specification Point 2.45:
Describe how to carry out a Flame Test

Flame Tests

Flame Test: Used to identify the metal cations by the colour of the flame they produce

Flame test, Edexcel IGCSE Chemistry

The flame test of metal cations


  • Clean platinum or nichrome wire by dipping it into hydrochloric acid then placing it in the roaring flame (this is repeated until the wire no longer produces a colour in the flame).
  • The end of the wire is dipped into fresh hydrochloric acid and then into the solid sample under test.
  • The end of the wire should then be placed into a non-roaring, non-luminous Bunsen flame.
  • Colour of flame is observed and recorded.
Specification Point 2.46:
Know the colours formed in flame tests for these cations: Li+ is Red, Na+ is Yellow, K+ is Lilac, Ca2+ is Orange-red, Cu2+ is Blue-green

Identifying Metal Cations by Flame Colour

Metal cations by colour, CIE IGCSE Chemistry


Cation by flame colour, Edexcel IGCSE Chemistry

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Author: Jamie

Jamie got a First class degree in Chemistry from Oxford University before going on to teach chemistry full time as a professional tutor. He’s put together these handy revision notes to match the Edexcel IGCSE Chemistry specification so you can learn exactly what you need to know for your exams.