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Qualitative analysis (test for ions and gases)

CHAPTER 15
QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS (TEST FOR IONS)
15.1

Introduction
Most ions have chemical characteristics that can be used for their confirmatory tests.

(A) Test for cations


Cations are positively charged ions formed when electrons are lost
(a) Flame test for cation:
Salts of some metals impart a colour to a non-luminous Bunsen flame. The steps listed below are
used to carry out a flame test.
- The technique is first of all to clean the end of a piece of platinum or nichrome wire by
dipping it into clean hydrochloric acid and then placing it in a roaring Bunsen flame. This
procedure should be repeated until the wire no longer produces a colour in the flame.
- The end of the wire should then be 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.
When steps above are followed, the results (observations) on the table below are obtained for
some of the common metal cations that can be confirmed by a flame test.

Metallic Lithium
Sodium Potassium Calcium
ion
(Li+)
(Na+)
(K+)
(Ca2+)
Flame
Deep red Golden
Lilac
Brick
colour or carmine yellow
red

Copper (II)
(Cu2+)
Bluish
green

Barium
(Ba2+)
Apple
green

(b) Test for ammonium (NH4+) ion


Add sodium hydroxide solution to the solid or solution of the substance and gently heat the
mixture. If ammonium ions are present, then a gas with a pungent smell which turns damp red
litmus paper blue is produced. The pungent smelling gas is ammonia (NH3).
NH4+(aq) + OH-(aq) NH3(g) + H2O(l)
(c) Precipitation
Some metallic ions are removed from solution when when aqueous sodium hydroxide (NaOH (aq))
or aqueous ammonia (NH3(aq)) is added to a solution containing the metallic ion. The tests and the
respective observations are displaced on the table.

Metallic ion

Copper (II) ion;


Cu2+

Iron (II) ion;


Fe2+
Iron (III) ion;
THE NEN SERIES

Test

Observations (results) and


theory

Add dilute sodium


hydroxide solution to a
solution of the substance.

Pale blue precipitate is formed. The


pale blue precipitate is Cu(OH) 2(s)
Cu2+(aq) + 2OH-(aq) Cu(OH)2(s).

Add dilute ammonia solution


gentle and then excess to a
solution of the substance.

Pale blue precipitate is formed soluble


in excess ammonia to form a deep
blue solution.

Add dilute sodium


hydroxide solution to a
solution of the substance.
Add dilute ammonia
solution to a solution of the
substance.
Add dilute sodium

Dirty green or mud green precipitate


is formed. Precipitate is Fe(OH) 2(s)

Cu2+(aq) + 2OH-(aq) Cu(OH)2(s).


Fe2+(aq) + 2OH-(aq) Fe(OH)2(s).
Dirty green or mud green precipitate
is formed. Precipitate is Fe(OH) 2(s)

Fe2+(aq) + 2OH-(aq) Fe(OH)2(s).


Reddish brown or rust brown precipitate
O-Level chemistry notes 2013-2014 school year prepared by Nkemzi E.N

3+

Fe

Hydrogen ion;
H+

Qualitative analysis (test for ions and gases)

hydroxide solution to a
solution of the substance.

is formed. Precipitate is Fe(OH)3(s)

Add dilute ammonia solution


to a solution of the substance.

Reddish brown or rust brown precipitate


is formed. Precipitate is Fe(OH)3(s)

Drop solution of the substance


on blue litmus paper.
Add solid sodium carbonate
to solution.

Litmus turns red

Fe3+(aq) + 3OH-(aq) Fe(OH)3(s).


Fe3+(aq) + 3OH-(aq) Fe(OH)3(s).
Bubbles of a gas which turns lime water
milky are observed. The gas given off is
carbon dioxide.
2H+(aq) + CO32-(s) CO2(s) + H2O(l).
Ca(OH)2(aq) + CO2(g) CaCO3(s) + H2O(l).

(B) Test for anions


Anions are negatively charged ions formed when electrons gained electrons
The tests and the respective observations are displaced on the table.
Anion
Test
Observations (results) and theory
Add dilute hydrochloric Bubbles of a gas which turns lime water
milky are observed. The gas given off is
Carbonate ion; acid to the substance.
carbon dioxide.
CO322H+(aq) + CO32-(s) CO2(s) + H2O(l).
Ca(OH)2(aq) + CO2(g) CaCO3(s) + H2O(l).

Add aqueous silver nitrate


to a solution of substance
in dilute nitric acid, followed
by ammonia solution

Chloride ion;
Cl-

Heavy white precipitate formed and


soluble in ammonia solution. The white
precipitate is silver chloride (AgCl)
AgNO3(aq) + Cl-(aq) AgCl(s) + NO3-(aq)
AgCl(s) + 2NH3(aq) [Ag(NH3)2]+(aq) + Cl-(aq).

Add aqueous silver nitrate


to a solution of substance in
dilute nitric acid, followed

Bromide ion;
Br-

by ammonia solution

Pale yellow (cream) precipitate formed


and soluble in concentrated ammonia
solution. Cream precipitate is AgBr.
AgNO3(aq) + Br-(aq) AgBr(s) + NO3-(aq)
AgBr(s) + 2NH3(aq) [Ag(NH3)2]+(aq) + Br-(aq)

Add aqueous silver nitrate


to a solution of substance in
dilute nitric acid, followed

Iodide ion; I-

by ammonia solution
Add aqueous barium
chloride to the solution of
the substance followed by
dilute hydrochloric acid.
Add aqueos barium
chloride to the solution of
the substance followed by
dilute hydrochloric acid.

Sulphate ion;
SO42Sulphite ion;
SO32-

Yellow precipitate formed insoluble in


dilute or concentrated ammonia solution.
Yellow precipitate is silver iodide (AgI)
AgNO3(aq) + I-(aq) AgI(s) + NO3-(aq)

White precipitate formed insoluble in


dilute hydrochloric acid. The white
precipitate is barium sulphate (BaSO4)
2BaCl2(aq) + SO42-(s) BaSO4(s) + 2Cl-(aq)

White precipitate formed soluble in


dilute hydrochloric acid. The white
precipitate is barium sulphate (BaSO3)
2BaCl2(aq) + SO42-(s) BaSO4(s) + 2Cl-(aq)
2H+(aq) + BaSO3(s) Ba2+(aq)+ SO2(s) + H2O(l)

nitrate ion; NO3

Hydroxide ion;
OH-

THE NEN SERIES

Add freshly prepared iron (II)


sulfate solution followed by
slow addition of concentrated
sulfuric acid to the solution

Brown ring forms at the junction of the


two liquid layers. The brown ring is
FeSO4.NO

Drop solution of substance


on red litmus paper.
Add ammonium compound
to solution of substance and
warm.

Litmus turns blue


Pungent gas that turns moist red litmus paper
is released. The gas is ammonia

NH4+(aq) + OH-(aq) NH3(g) + H2O(l)

O-Level chemistry notes 2013-2014 school year prepared by Nkemzi E.N

Qualitative analysis (test for ions and gases)

(C) Test for Common gases


Many gases have confirmatory. Nitrogen is a gas without a confirmatory test.
Gas / colour
Test
Observations (results) and theory
Hydrogen; (H2) /
Colourless
Carbon dioxide;
(CO2) / Colourless

Oxygen; (O2) /
Colourless

Chlorine; (Cl2) /
greenish yellow
Hydrogen chloride;
(HCl) / colourless
but fumes in moist
air

Ammonia; (NH3) /
colourless
Nitrogen dioxide;
(NO2) / brown
Hydrogen sulphide;
(H2S) / colourless
Carbon monoxide;
(CO) / Colourless

Put a lighted splint into


a sample of the gas.
bubble a regulated
amount of gas through
limewater; (Ca(OH)2
solution)
Put a glowing splint
into a sample of the
gas.
Lower moist blue
litmus into the gas

Burns with a " squeaky popping" sound

Lower moist moist


starch-iodide paper into
the gas
Lower moist blue litmus
into the gas and bubble
gas through aqueous
silver nitrate
Insert moist red litmus
into the gas

Paper turns blue black


Cl2(g) + 2I-(aq) 2Cl-(aq) + I2-starch complex.

Bring gas very close to


fuming hydrochloric acid
in a test-tube

Lower moist blue


litmus into the gas
Lower moist freshly
prepared lead (II) acetate
paper into the rotten egg
smelling gas.
Bring flame in contact

2H2(g) + O2(g) 2H2O(l).


lime water turns milky are observed. The
gas given off is carbon dioxide. Excess
CO2(g) turns milky solution clear.
Ca(OH)2(aq) + CO2(g) CaCO3(s) + H2O(l)

Splint relights

C(in wood) + O2(s) CO2(s).


Litmus turns red then white (bleached)
Cl2(g) + H2O(l) 2H3O+(aq) + Cl-(aq) + OCl-(aq)
2HOCl(aq)+ dye 2HCl(aq)+ bleached dye + O2(g)

Litmus turns red and white precipitate formed


on bubbling through aqueous AgNO3.
HCl(g) + H2O(l) 2H3O+(aq) + Cl-(aq)
HCl(aq) + AgNO3(aq) AgCl(s) + HNO3(aq)
Litmus turns blue
NH3(g) + H2O(l) NH4+(aq) + OH-(aq)
White cloud formed
NH3(g) + HCl(g) NH4Cl(g).

Litmus turns red


2NO2(g) + H2O(l) 2H+(aq) + NO3-(aq) + NO2-(aq)
Paper turn black. Black precipitate is lead (II)
sulphide (PbS(s)).
H2S(g) + Pb2+(aq) PbS(s) + 2H+(aq)

Burns with a blue flame to produce a gas


that turns lime water milky
2CO(g) + O2(g) CO2(aq)
Ca(OH)2(aq) + CO2(g) CaCO3(s) + H2O(l).

Sulphur dioxide;
(SO2) / colourless
Nitrogen monoxide;

(NO) / Colourless

Lower freshly prepared


potassium dichromate
paper into the gas
Expose to air or oxygen

Paper changes from orange to green


3SO2(g) + Cr2O72-(aq) + 2H+(aq) 2Cr3+(aq) + 3SO42(aq) + H2O(l)

Turns brown
2NO(g) + O2(g) 2NO2(g)

(D) OTHER TESTS


(a) Physical test for water:
Pure water is a colourless liquid which freezes at 0C and boils at 100C. If the water is
impure, then it freezes below 0C and boils above 100C .
(b) Chemical test for water:
- Water turns white anhydrous copper (II) sulphate powder to blue hydrated copper (II)
sulphate crystals.
CuSO4(s) + 5H2O(l) CuSO4.5H2O(s).
white
blue
- Water turns blue anhydrous cobalt (II) chloride powder to pink hydrated cobalt (II)
chloride crystals.
CoCl2(s) + 6H2O(l) CoCl2.6H2O(s).
blue
pink
THE NEN SERIES

O-Level chemistry notes 2013-2014 school year prepared by Nkemzi E.N