Detection And Estimation

Most calcium compounds, especially when moistened with hydrochloric acid, impart an orange-red colour to a Bunsen flame, which when viewed through green glass appears to be finch-green; this distinguishes it in the presence of strontium, whose crimson coloration is apt to mask the orange-red calcium flame (when viewed through green glass the strontium flame appears to be a very faint yellow). In the spectroscope calcium exhibits two intense lines - an orange line (α), (λ 6163), a green line (β), (λ 4229), and a fainter indigo line. Calcium is not precipitated by sulphuretted hydrogen, but falls as the carbonate when an alkaline carbonate is added to a solution. Sulphuric acid gives a white precipitate of calcium sulphate with strong solutions; ammonium oxalate gives calcium oxalate, practically insoluble in water and dilute acetic acid, but readily soluble in nitric or hydrochloric acid. Calcium is generally estimated by precipitation as oxalate which, after drying, is heated and weighed as carbonate or oxide, according to the degree and duration of the heating.