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C3: Identifying and Analysing Substances
A range of chemical tests can be used for the detection and
identification of elements and compounds.
Instrumental methods that are quick, accurate and sensitive have
been developed to identify and measure substances, often in very
These methods are used to monitor products, our health, the
environment and in forensic science.
Flame tests can be used to identify metal ions.
Lithium, sodium, potassium, calcium and barium compounds
produce distinctive colours in flame tests.
Reaction of Carbonates With Dilute Acid
Carbonates react with dilute acids to form carbon dioxide.
Carbon dioxide turns limewater milky.
Copper carbonate and zinc carbonate decompose on heating and
can be identified by the distinctive colour changes.
Aluminium, calcium and magnesium ions form white precipitates
with sodium hydroxide solution but only the aluminium hydroxide
precipitate dissolves in excess sodium hydroxide solution.
Copper(II), iron(II) and iron(III) ions form coloured precipitates
with sodium hydroxide solution.
Halide ions in solution produce precipitates with silver nitrate
solution in the presence of dilute nitric acid.
Silver chloride is white, silver bromide is cream and silver iodide is
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Sulfate ions in solution produce a white precipitate with barium
chloride solution in the presence of dilute hydrochloric acid.
Ammonium ions react with sodium hydroxide solution to form
Ammonia gas turns damp litmus paper blue.
Nitrate ions are reduced by aluminium powder in the presence of
sodium hydroxide solution to form ammonia.
Organic compounds burn or char when heated in air.…read more