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Flame Tests


Barium salts are highly toxic.

Chemicals and Solutions

Flame test cation solutions (methanolic)


  • Matches
  • Dishes with covers


Place the cation solutions into dishes and ignite them with a match. To put them out, simply cover the dish.

  • Barium gives a green flame
  • Strontium gives a red flame
  • Lithium gives a red flame
  • Calcium gives a red orange flame
  • Sodium gives an orange flame
  • Potassium give a violet flame


The metal ions are raised to an excited state by the high temperature of the flame and then return to the ground state emitting light of characteristic frequencies.