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DifferentFlameColorReactionsfromDifferentCompounds

RyanHromadka,MasonAnthony
MattRuppels10thgradeclass
HighTechHighNorthCounty

Experimental:
Theobjectiveofthislab,wastofindwhichreactionmatchestheunknownsreaction.In
thislabtherewasacontrolwhichwas,twofulldroppersofplainMethanolwereputina
watchglassand,andlitonfire.Afterthatonespatulaofothercompounds(shownin
thetablebelow)wereaddedtothewatchglassofmethanol,andonceagainlitonfire.
Everyreactionwasdifferent,butstillhadahintofbluefrommethanol.Weused
methanolbecauseofitspropertiesitwasflammable,ithadadifferentcolor
flame(blue),anditalloweddifferentcompoundstobemixedin,anditwouldnthavea
reactionuntilitwaslitonfire.
(Compoundtable)
Amount

Compound
name

Formula

FlameColor

Other
observations

Onespatula
full

Methanol
(Control)

CH8OH

Blue

Stillcolumnof
fire.

Onespatula
full

Lithium
Chloride

LiCI

DarkRed

Afterawhileit
turnedblue
againwithred
tips.

Onespatula
full

Calcium
Chloride

CaCI2

Yellowand
Red

Thecolumnof
firedance
aroundthe
watchglass.

Onespatula
full

Calcium
Carbonate

CaCO3

Purple

Stillflame
column

Onespatula
full

Potassium
Chloride

KCI

Pink

Theflame
dancedonthe
tips

Onespatula
full

Borax

Na2B4O
710H2
O

Green

Stillflamethat
movedaround
thewatch
glass

Onespatula
full

Copper(11)
Sulfate

CuSO4

Green,Blue,
Orange

Theflamewas
moreviolent
thanothers.

Onespatula

(unknown)
Borax

Na2B4O
710H2
O

Green

Stillflamethat
movedaround
thewatch
glass

(materialtable)
Item

Amount

Use

Dropper

UsedforMethanol
transportation

Glasscylinder

Fordeadmatches

Glassstirrod

Tostircompoundand
methanoltogether

watchglass

Toobservereaction

matches

box

Tolightreaction

gloggles

Toprotecteyes

labcoat

Toprotectskinandclothes

journals

Torecordobservations

pens

Towriteobservations

gloves

2pairs

Toprotecthandsfrom
methanol

instructionsheet

Todothelabcorrectly

Results
Theflamecolorsthatwereobservedinthecompoundtable(above)allhada
smallbitofthecontrolreaction.However,eachflamehadadifferentreactioninitsown
way.Eachflamealsohadsimilaritieswitheachother.Asstatedinthecompoundtable,
Lithiumchloridehadaredflame,andcalciumchloridehadaredyellowflame.This

wouldbebecauseeachcompoundhadsomechlorideinit.(LiCl)(CaCl2).However
somewillnothavesimilarreactions.ForexampleCalciumchlorideandCalcium
carbonatehaddifferentreactions.(statedinthecompoundtable)Thiswouldbebecause
inCalciumcarbonate(thepurplereaction)thereismorecarbonatethancalcium.Sothis
informationcanused,tomakeaneducatedguessandsaythatcarbonatemakesa
pinkishcolor.Becausemethanolmakesablue,andmixedinwiththeredfromcalcium,
wouldmakepurple.NowPotassiumchlorideIsanotherchloridereaction,howeverthis
onewaspink.ThisisbecauseiftheestimatedcolorofChlorideisred,redandblue
wouldmakepink.SonowwiththisotherreactionwecanfigureoutthatChlorideismost
definitelyred,becauseallthereactionswithitintheMethanolisacombinationofredor
isred.NowtheonlyweirdreactionwasCopper(11)sulfate.Thishadalightgreenwith
bitsoforange.Theorangedoesntnecessarilymeanit'sthereactionitcouldbethe
flamecooling.Exceptthisdidnotmatchorcomethatclosetoanyotherreactions.Also
theirarenoothercompoundsinthislabthathaveCopper(11)orSulfate.Thenext
compoundwasBorax,thiswasourmatchwiththeunknown,therewasafew
differences,butthatcouldbebecauseitwasntstirredorwashedwell.Thisalsohadno
othersimilaritiesexcepttheunknown.

Conclusion
Inconclusion,everycompoundflamewasuniqueinitsownway.However,
Boraxhadanalmostidenticalreactionwiththeunknowns.Sothismustmeanthatthe
unknownisBorax.Thisisthebestconclusionpossiblewiththislab.Inordertoknowfor
sure,therewouldneedtobetestwiththerawchemicals,likejustcalcium.Thiswaywe
couldknowforsureifitwastheestimatedcolor.Someotherquestionswouldbewhat
aretheexactcolors,whatwouldhappenifallthecompoundsweremixedintoone
flame,andisitpossibletocreateawhiteflame?