Featured in PASCO’s College Chemistry Instructor Guide

College Chemistry Instructor Guide


College Instructor edition with 36 experiments covering introductory and general chemistry topics.

Analysis of Cations

Lab Summary

Use chemical reactions and chemical properties to identify the cations present in a mixture by systematically reacting the unknown with various reagents.


Students use chemical properties to qualitatively classify and identify the cations present in a solution.


Students gain experience conducting the following procedures:

  • Organizing and tracking the results of multiple reactions.
  • Performing basic laboratory separation processes.

Materials Used:

Test tube, 10-mL - 10
Test tube rack
Pipet, graduated, 10-mL
Pipet bulb
Pipet, plastic, 1-mL - 7
Beaker, 250-mL
Evaporating dish
Stirring rod
Hot plate
Litmus paper - 10 
pH paper - 1 roll
6 M Sodium hydroxide (NaOH) - 20 mL
6 M Ammonia (NH3) - 20 mL
0.1 M Potassium chromate (K2CrO4) - 20 mL
1% Aluminon dye- 2 mL
6 M Hydrochloric acid (HCl) - 20 mL
Dimethylglyoxime (DMG) reagent - 5 drops
0.2 M Potassium ferrocyanide (K4[Fe(CN)6]) - 2 mL
3 M Sulfuric acid (H2SO4) - 3 mL
3 % Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) - 2 mL
Unknown cation solution (use AlCl3, NiCl3, Pb(NO3)2, AgNO3, MnSO4, (NH4)2Fe(SO4)2) - 20 mL
Deionized water - 5 mL
Marking pen

The Associated Bundle:

Advanced Chemistry Standard Sensor Bundle


Contains the probeware for completing experiments in the College Chemistry lab manual.

Interface Required

This experiment may require software and an interface for data collection.