I have basically 12 salts to identify in exams. They are ***

Ammonium Carbonate, Ammonium Sulphate, Ammonium chloride, Aluminium Nitrate , Aluminium Sulphate, Barium chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium Carbonate, Magnesium Sulphate, Lead Nitrate, Zinc Sulphide, Zinc Sulphate

***. I will be given one of them. I know all the tests I have to undertake to identify these salts (such as ash test, flame test, sodium carbonate extract tests etc). But I would like to know if there is any quick way to easily identify my salt on looking it or some easy tests so that I get a leverage over time and could finish my tests easier. I would like to know ASAP, as I have my exams tomorrow.

Thanks in advance

  • $\begingroup$ You just need to know the test for anion and cation $\endgroup$ Feb 4, 2016 at 14:20
  • $\begingroup$ I know the tests, but it is practically time consuming.... If only i had an alternative way.. $\endgroup$ Feb 4, 2016 at 14:27
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    $\begingroup$ Then prioritize your step on the sequence for your test $\endgroup$ Feb 4, 2016 at 14:31
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    $\begingroup$ @MukilanSC None of these tests are particularly time consuming. How fast are you meant to be doing this?? $\endgroup$
    – bon
    Feb 4, 2016 at 15:30
  • $\begingroup$ I have been given 3 hours for a volumetric analysis as well as this qualitative analysis and also this time includes summarizing the result of each individual test. $\endgroup$ Feb 4, 2016 at 16:16

1 Answer 1


Draw a matrix of cations vs anions, mark the possible combinations, and calculate the probabilities.

The chances are 4/12 for a sulphate, 3/12 for a carbonate, etc.

I wouldn't start testing for sulphides ;-)


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