An Investigation into the Identification, Properties, and Synthesis of an Unknown Ionic Compound

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Abstract This paper describes the methods used in the identification, investigation of properties, and synthesis of an unknown compound. The compound was identified as calcium nitrate by a variety of tests. When the compound was received, it was already known to be one of twelve possible ionic compounds. The flame test identified the presence of the calcium anion in the compound. The compound tested positive for the nitrate cation using the iron sulfate test. At this point it was hypothesized that the compound was calcium nitrate. Reactivity tests and quantitative analysis comparing the unknown compound with calcium nitrate supported this hypothesis. Synthesis reactions were then carried out and analyzed. Introduction…show more content…
Once the quantitative analysis indicated that the compound had been correctly identified, it was also our goal to determine methods of synthesizing the compound and to compare the syntheses for cost effectiveness, safety, and potential yield. Discussion The unknown ionic compound was composed of translucent crystals. It had no odor, was soluble in water, and its electrical conductivity in water was measured at 1.66V, as indicated in Table 1. The compound burned a bright red during the flame test consistent with the flame signature of calcium, as indicated in Table 2, and along with the fact that the compound was soluble in water, this helped us to eliminate the possible presence of the poorly soluble salts (Cooper, 2008). However, tests for these anions were still performed. The compound was tested for the presence of ammonium, carbonate, sulfate, chloride, and nitrate, as seen in Table 2. The nitrate test produced a precipitate, indicating the presence of the nitrate ion in the compound. At this point it was hypothesized that our unknown compound was calcium nitrate. In order to test the hypothesis, the same tests given in Table 1 and Table 2 were performed on a sample of calcium nitrate. The results obtained for all the tests were the same as with our unknown compound. To further test this hypothesis, five different reactions were designed, as can be seen in Table 3, in which a
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