Chemical Cleanup: The Benettis’ Barrels of Trouble

Table of Content


Your company has been contracted by Julius and Annette Benetti. They are concerned about a collection of abandoned rusty barrels containing chemicals, which their daughter discovered while playing in the vacant lot behind their property. These barrels have started leaking a colored liquid that has been flowing through their belongings and eventually into a local sewer. The Benettis want your company to analyze the substance in the liquid, as previous studies have indicated that it is a dissolved metal compound. Many metals, including lead, pose risks to our health. Compounds of these metals are often soluble in water and can be easily absorbed by the body.

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Electrons within atoms undergo transitions within their ground state and excited states by absorbing energy, and subsequently return to their ground state, re-emitting the absorbed energy in the form of light. Due to the distinct composition and organization of electrons in each atom, an individual atom will emit a peculiar spectrum of light.

The flame test is a chemical trial that is based on the characteristic visible radiation. In this trial, the atoms are placed within a fire to become excited. As they emit the absorbed energy in the form of visible light, the color of the fire changes. These changes in color are easily visible for most metals. However, the presence of a tiny amount of another substance can disrupt the accurate identification of the true color of a specific atom.

In order to identify the metal content of the barrels behind the Benettis’s house, you need to conduct fire trials using various standard aqueous solutions or crystals of different metal compounds. These compounds are technically known as salts, which are ionic compounds that incorporate metals and non-metals chemically bonded together. Then, you will perform a flame trial with an unidentified sample to determine if it matches any of the standard solutions or salts used as reference. It is important to keep your equipment clean and conduct multiple tests to verify your findings.


The main objectives of this research lab are:

  • identify a set of flame-test criterions for selected metal ions
  • relate the colourss of the fire trial to the behaviour of the aroused negatrons in a metal ion
  • draw decisions and place an unknown metal ion by utilizing a flame trial
  • Demonstrate proficiency in executing a fire trial
  • Evaluate the utility of this method of metal designation
  • Explain how negatrons absorb and release energy when they change energy degrees


Chemical safety goggles, Q-Tips, laboratory burner, distilled H2O, unknown sample, assorted salts.


  1. Light the burner and adjust it so that the fire is about colourless and about 2-3 inches in height demoing a bright bluish inner nucleus.
  2. Dunk the Q-tip into metal chloride # 1 and so keep the Q-tip in the fire. See the colour alteration in the fire and note it in the informations tabular array. Repeat if necessary.
  3. Repeat the process for the sample. but this clip look through the diffraction spectacless and see if you can observe any other colourss.
  4. Repeat measure 3 for each of the other standard crystals or solutions. Record your observations in the informations tabular array.
  5. Follow the process to prove the unknown sample. Record your observations. ( Remember: You are seeking to place the unknown. You may necessitate to reiterate some of the criterions or the unknown to acquire the right designation based on fire colour ) .
  6. Clean all setup and the lab bench.

Analysis Questions

  1. Which metals produce similar fire colourss ( harmonizing to your bare oculus ) ? NaCl and NaNo3 both turned the colour orange.
  2. What metal ions are in the unknown solutions A and B from the barrels on the vacant batch? Clearly. and in item. explicate your logical thinking. The metal ions BsCl and LiCl are in the unknown solutions A and B from the barrels on the vacant batch.
  3. A pupil performed fire trials on several unknown substances and observed that all of the fire colourss were sunglassess of ruddy. What could the pupil do to correctly place these substances? The pupil could fit their observations to the specific colour a fire would do when it comes into contact with a substance.
  4. During a inundation. the labels from three bottles of chemicals were lost. The three unlabelled bottles of white solids were known to incorporate the undermentioned substances: Sr nitrate. ammonium carbonate. and potassium sulphate. Explain in great item how you could easy prove the substances and re-label the three bottles. ( Hint: Ammonium ions do non supply a typical fire colour ) . To easy prove the substances and re-label the three bottles you could make a fire with the substances and utilize diffraction spectacless to happen the substance’s colour.
  5. A ruddy brown stone was held in a really hot burner fire. The fire appeared emerald green in colour. What metal was most likely nowadays in the stone? BaCl was most likely nowadays in the stone.
  6. How would you qualify the fire trial with regard to its sensitiveness? Give a ground why the fire trial is sometimes invalid. The fire trial could perchance read invalid if there is still a hint of the old substance still in the burner or if there is a hint of the substance in the current substance that is being tested.
  7. Based on your consequences and observations would this method be practical to find the metals in a mixture? If non. why non. Explain your reply. Based on my consequences and observations this method would non be practical to find the metals in a mixture because you wouldn’t cognize which colour is for which substance in the mixture.
  8. Using the information learned about what colour would you predict that Cu nitrate would fire? Explain your reply. I think copper nitrate would fire at a blue/green colour. because during the flame trial Cu burned at a blue/green colour.
  9. Some shops sell “fireplace crystals. ” When sprinkled on a log. these crystals make the fires ruddy. green. and violet. Explain how these crystals can alter the flame’s colour. What ingredients do you anticipate them to incorporate? These crystals can alter the flame’s colour because they contain different substances that burn at different colourss. I expect the ingredients in them are Barium and Strontium.
  10. Using the regulations you have learned on orbital filling diagrams ; right fill in the undermentioned diagrams for Potassium ( K ) and Strontium ( Sr ) . Correctly write the negatron constellations under each diagram.

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Chemical Cleanup: The Benettis’ Barrels of Trouble. (2017, Jul 19). Retrieved from

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