Liebermann reagent

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Not to be confused with the Liebermann nitroso reaction, a test for nitrosamines and phenol.

The Liebermann reagent named after Hungarian chemist Leo Liebermann (1852-1926) is used as a simple spot-test to presumptively identify alkaloids as well as other compounds. It is composed of a mixture of potassium nitrite and concentrated sulfuric acid.[1][2] 1g of potassium nitrite is used for every 10 mls of sulphuric acid.[3]

It is used to test for cocaine, morphine, PMA and PMMA.

The test is performed by scraping off a small amount of the substance and adding a drop of the reagent (which is initially clear and colorless). The results are analyzed by viewing the color of the resulting mixture, and by the time taken for the change in color to become apparent.

Final colors produced by Liebermann Reagent with various substances
Substance Color
Cocaine Yellowish[2]
Morphine Black[2]
Atropine Red - Orange[4]
Yohimbine Blue[4]
PMA and PMMA Purple - Brown[5]
MDMA Intense Brown[6] - Black[5]
Amphetamine Intense Olive Green[5]
Methamphetamine Red[citation needed]
Cathinone Bright Yellow[6]
Methcathinone Bright Yellow[6]
4-MMC Bright Yellow[6]
N,N-DMC Faint Yellow[6]
3-FMC No reaction[6]
4-MOMC Faint Orange[6]
Methylone Orange > Brown[6]
MDPV Yellow > Green[6]
4-Me-PPP Orange[7]
Brephedrone Yellow[7]
4-MEC Orange[7]
Pentedrone Yellow[7]
4-methyl buphedrone Yellow[7]
Buphedrone Yellow[7]
Butylone Yellow > Brown[7] or Green > Brown[6]
3,4-DMMC Orange[7]
Naphyrone Brown[7]
Benzedrone Orange[7]
JWH-307 Dark Yellow[7]
AB-001 Dark Yellow[7]
CB-13 Dark Green[7]
JTE-907 Black (bubbling)[7]
UR-144 Dark Red[7]
URB-597 Yellow Brown[7]
URB602 Dark Brown[7]
URB754 Light Brown[7]
AM-1248 Dark Yellow[7]
AB-034 Red-Orange > Dark Red[7]
A-796,260 Red-Orange > Dark Red[7]
A-834,735 Red-Orange > Dark Red[7]
FUR-144 Dark Red[7]
AKB48 No color change[7]
JWH-073 Yellow - Brown[7]
JWH-018 Yellow - Brown[7]
JWH-200 Dark Yellow - Brown[7]
AM-2201 Yellow - Brown[7]
JWH-203 Yellow - Orange[7]
RCS-4-C4 homolog Brown[7]
AM-694 Dark Yellow[7]
MAM-2201 Green - Brown[7]
AM-2233 Yellow[7]
STS-135 Brown[7]
4-MeO-PCP Brown[7]
Methoxetamine Orange - Brown[7]
Ethketamine Pale Yellow[7]
3-HO-PCE Dark Brown[7]
5-MeO-DALT Dark Brown - Black[7]
4-methyl-aET Brown[7]
4-AcO-DALT Black[7]
4-HO-MET Black[7]
4-HO-MIPT Black[7]
4-AcO-DET Black[7]
aMT Black[7]
5-IT Dark Brown[7]
5-APB Black[7]
6-APB Dark Purple[7]
Camfetamine Dark Red[7]
Methiopropamine Dark Brown[7]
MDAI Green > Black[7]
5-IAI Dark Brown[7]
Pethidine Red - Orange[8]
Mescaline Black[8]
Allylescaline Brown - Black[7]
2C-T-2 Red[7]
2C-P Green[7]
b-methoxy-2C-D Green[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Horowitz, Benjamin (2009). A Study of the Action of Ammonia on Thymol. Bibliolife. p. 26. ISBN 978-1-110-61089-1. Retrieved 2012-01-25. "Since his day the Liebermann reagent (6% potassium nitrite in conc. sulphuric acid) has been extensively used." 
  2. ^ a b c Bell, Suzanne (30 Jun 2004). Dictionary of Forensic Science (Facts on File Science Dictionary) (Facts on File Science Dictionary Series.). Facts on File Inc. p. 142. ISBN 978-0-8160-5131-1. Retrieved 2012-01-25. 
  3. ^ Brittain, Harry G.; McLeish, Michael J (20 Mar 1998). Analytical Profiles of Drug Substances and Excipients 25. Academic Press. p. 106. ISBN 978-0-12-260825-4. 
  4. ^ a b DMT Nexus (2011-09-29). "Colorimetric test results for different alkaloids". Retrieved 2012-01-25. 
  5. ^ a b c EMCDDA (30 Mar 2011). EMCDDA Risk Assessment: Report on the Risk Assessment of PMMA in the Framework of the Joint Action on New Synthetic Drugs. Dictus Publishing. p. 54. ISBN 978-3-8433-2695-7. Retrieved 2012-01-25. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Toole KE, Fu S, Shimmon RG, Kraymen N (2012). "Color Tests for the Preliminary Identification of Methcathinone and Analogues of Methcathinone". Microgram Journal 9 (1): 27–32. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd "Color Tests and Analytical Difficulties With Emerging Drugs of Abuse" (PDF). Johnson County Sheriff’s Office Criminalistics Laboratory. 2012. Retrieved 2013-07-16. 
  8. ^ a b "Rapid Testing Methods of Drugs of Abuse" (PDF). United Nations International Drug Control Programme. 2012. Retrieved 2013-07-16. 

External links[edit]