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CHM 130

Qualitative Analysis of Cations and Anions


Introduction:

This experiment will analyze known and unknown solutions for the presence of specific cations and anions. The
general approach to finding out what ions are in a solution is to test for the presence of each possible component by
adding a reagent that will cause that component, if present, to react in a certain way. This method involves a series of
tests, one for each component, carried out on separate samples of solution. Difficulty sometimes arises, particularly in
complex mixtures, because one of the species may interfere with the analytical test for another. Although interferences
are common, many ions in mixtures can usually be identified by simple tests.

In this experiment, you will analyze unknown solutions that may contain one or more of the following ions in solution:

Pb2+, Fe3+, Ni2+, Mg2+, Cu2+

PO43-, I-, OH-, SO42-, CO32-

First, you will perform various tests to detect the presence of individual ions. Once you have observed these specific
reactions, you will perform the same tests on a series of unknown solutions.

Safety Precautions:

In some of the tests you will be required to use fairly concentrated acids and bases. When in contact with skin, most of
these chemicals can cause severe burns if not removed promptly. Wear goggles when working with any of the
reagents required in this experiment.

Experimental Set-Up:

For each experimental procedure, arrange four well plates according to the picture below, so that the well plates are
organized like the data tables. The first row of the well plates corresponds to row 1 on the data tables. The first
column of the well plates corresponds to column A on the data tables.
Please arrange the four well plates according
to the diagrams below. This will prevent
A B C D E cross contamination of the test results.

Cation Analysis – yellow labels 1-4


1 1 2

4
3 4
5
Anion Analysis – white labels 5-8
5 6
6

7 8
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Procedure for Cation Tests:
Controls - First you will test known solutions and observe the results (rows 1-5). For each cation there will be a
unique set of positive reactions that indicate the presence of that cation.

The test solutions for Cation are NaI, KSCN, K4Fe(CN)6, dimethylglyoxime, NaOH
1. Place 2-3 drops of the first cation solution ( Pb(NO3)2 ) in each well in row 1 of the well plates.
2. Repeat for rows 2-8 using the appropriate cation solution.
3. Place 2-3 drops of the first test solution (NaI) in each well in column A of the well plates.
4. Repeat for columns B-E using the appropriate test solution.
5. Observe and record any reactions in the data table. Be sure to record the color and amount of any precipitates.

Unknowns
6. Identify the cations in the unknown solutions (rows 6-8).
a. C1 and C2 have two cations mixed together. Find the closest match to the controls for the unknown.
Some test solutions will react with both cations, so the reaction result in the unknown will be a
mixture of the two reaction results in the controls.
b. C3 has only one cation, find a control cation that matches all of the results of the unknown.
7. Clean Up – carefully pour all of the solutions from the well plate into the waste container, then clean and dry
the well plate. If needed, rinse the well plate with alcohol to remove residue.

Procedure for Anion Tests:


Controls - First you will test known solutions and observe the results (rows 1-5). For each anion there will be a unique
set of reaction results that indicate the presence of that anion.

The test solutions for Anion are Ca(NO3)2, AgNO3, Phenolphthalein, BaCl2, HCl
1. Place 2-3 drops of the first anion solution ( Na3PO4 ) in each well in row 1 of the well plates.
2. Repeat for rows 2-8 using the appropriate anion solution.
3. Place 2-3 drops of the first test solution (Ca(NO3)2) in each well in column A of the well plates.
4. Repeat for columns B-E using the appropriate test solution.
5. Observe and record any reactions in the data table. Be sure to record the color and amount of any precipitates.

Unknowns
6. Identify the anions in the unknown solutions (rows 6-8).
a. A1, A2 and A3 have only one anion, find a control anion that matches all of the results of the
unknown.
7. Clean Up – carefully pour all of the solutions from the well plate into the waste container, then clean and dry
the well plate.

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Name_______________________ Section___________ Lab Partner_____________
Data Tables:
Cation Identification

A B C D E

NaI KSCN K4Fe(CN)6 Dimethylglyoxime NaOH

1 Pb(NO3)2

2 Fe(NO3)3

3 Ni(NO3)2

4 Mg(NO3)2

5 Cu(NO3)2

6 C1

Ions Present in C1: _________________ and _________________

7 C2

Ions Present in C2: _________________ and _________________

8 C3

Ion Present in C3: _________________

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Anion Identification

A B C D E

Ca(NO3)2 AgNO3 Phenolphthalein BaCl2 HCl

1 Na3PO4

2 NaI

3 NaOH

4 Na2SO4

5 Na2CO3

6 A1

Ion Present in A1: _________________

7 A2

Ion Present in A2: _________________

8 A3

Ion Present in A3: _________________

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1. Balance and classify the following reactions: combination (C), decomposition (D), single replacement (SR),
double replacement (DR) or combustion (CB).
Classification

a. ______C3H8 (g) + ______O2 (g) → ______CO2 (g) + ______H2O (l) ___________

b. ______K (s) + ______H2O (l) → ______KOH (aq) + ______H2 (g) ___________

c. ______MgSO4 (aq) + ______Na2CO3 (aq) → ______MgCO3 (s) + ______Na2SO4 (aq)___________

d. ______Cl2 (g) + ______NaI (s) → ______NaCl (s) + ______I2 (s) ___________

e. ______NaNO3 (s) → ______NaNO2 (s) + ______O2 (g) ___________

f. ______H2 (g) + ______Cl2 (g) → ______HCl (g) ___________

g. ______Ca(C2H3O2)2 (aq) + ______H3PO4 (aq) → ______Ca3(PO4)2 (s) + ______HC2H3O2 (aq)__________

h. ______H2O2 (l) → ______H2O (l) + ______O2 (g) ___________

i. ______Na (s) + ______S (s) → ______Na2S (s) ___________

j. ______BaCl2 (aq) + ______K2CrO4 (aq) → ______BaCrO4 (s) + ______KCl (aq) ___________

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2. Balance each of the following equations. Then write the total (complete) ionic equation for each reaction.
Finally write the net ionic equation for each reaction. Remember: insoluble substances are not present as
separate ions in solution.

a. ______Pb(NO3)2 (aq) + ______NaOH (aq) → ______Pb(OH)2 (s) + ______NaNO3 (aq)

Complete Ionic equation:___________________________________________________________________________

Net ionic equation: _______________________________________________________

b. ______Na3PO4 (aq) + ______Ca(NO3)2 (aq) → ______Ca3(PO4)2 (s) + ______NaNO3 (aq)

Complete Ionic equation:___________________________________________________________________________

Net ionic equation: _______________________________________________________

c. ______NaCl (aq) + ______AgNO3 (aq) → ______AgCl (s) + ______NaNO3 (aq)

Complete Ionic equation:___________________________________________________________________________

Net ionic equation: _______________________________________________________

d. ______Na2SO4 (aq) + ______AgNO3 (aq) → ______Ag2SO4 (s) + ______NaNO3 (aq)

Complete Ionic equation:___________________________________________________________________________

Net ionic equation: _______________________________________________________

e. ______Na2CO3 (aq) + ______BaCl2 (aq) → ______BaCO3 (s) + ______NaCl (aq)

Complete Ionic equation:___________________________________________________________________________

Net ionic equation: _______________________________________________________

f. ______Na2CO3 (aq) + ______HCl (aq) → ______NaCl (aq) + ______H2O (l) + ______CO2 (g)

Complete Ionic equation:___________________________________________________________________________

Net ionic equation: _______________________________________________________

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