From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Preferred IUPAC name
Other names
Brady's reagent
Borche's reagent
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.003.918 Edit this at Wikidata
EC Number
  • 204-309-3
  • InChI=1S/C6H6N4O4/c7-8-5-2-1-4(9(11)12)3-6(5)10(13)14/h1-3,8H,7H2 checkY
  • InChI=1/C6H6N4O4/c7-8-5-2-1-4(9(11)12)3-6(5)10(13)14/h1-3,8H,7H2
  • c1cc(c(cc1[N+](=O)[O-])[N+](=O)[O-])NN
Molar mass 198.14 g/mol
Appearance Red or orange powder
Melting point 198 to 202 °C (388 to 396 °F; 471 to 475 K) dec.
Occupational safety and health (OHS/OSH):
Main hazards
Flammable, possibly carcinogenic
GHS labelling:
GHS02: FlammableGHS07: Exclamation mark
H228, H302, H319
P210, P240, P241, P264, P270, P280, P301+P312, P305+P351+P338, P330, P337+P313, P370+P378, P501
Safety data sheet (SDS) MSDS
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
☒N verify (what is checkY☒N ?)

2,4-Dinitrophenylhydrazine (2,4-DNPH or DNPH) is the organic compound C6H3(NO2)2NHNH2. DNPH is a red to orange solid. It is a substituted hydrazine. The solid is relatively sensitive to shock and friction. For this reason DNPH is usually handled as a wet powder. DNPH is a precursor to the drug Sivifene.


It can be prepared by the reaction of hydrazine sulfate with 2,4-dinitrochlorobenzene:[1]

Preparation of 2,4-DNPH.png

DNP test[edit]

DNPH is a reagent in instructional laboratories on qualitative organic analysis. Brady's reagent or Borche's reagent, is prepared by dissolving DNPH in a solution containing methanol and some concentrated sulfuric acid. This solution is used to detect ketones and aldehydes. A positive test is signalled by the formation of a yellow, orange or red precipitate of the dinitrophenylhydrazone. Aromatic carbonyls give red precipitates whereas aliphatic carbonyls give more yellow color.[2] The reaction between DNPH and a generic ketone to form a hydrazone is shown below:

RR'C=O   +   C6H3(NO2)2NHNH2   →   C6H3(NO2)2NHN=CRR'   +   H2O

This reaction is, overall, a condensation reaction as two molecules joining together with loss of water. Mechanistically, it is an example of addition-elimination reaction: nucleophilic addition of the -NH2 group to the C=O carbonyl group, followed by the elimination of a H2O molecule:[3]

X-ray structure of DNP-derived hydrazone of benzophenone. Selected parameters: C=N, 128 pm; N-N, 1.38 pm, N-N-C(Ar), 119[4]
When 3-heptanone is added to a solution of 2,4-DNPH and heated, an orange-red precipitate forms.

DNP-derived hydrazones have characteristic melting points, facilitating identification of the carbonyl. In particular, the use of DNPH was developed by Brady and Elsmie.[5] Modern spectroscopic and spectrometric techniques have superseded these techniques.

DNPH does not react with other carbonyl-containing functional groups such as carboxylic acids, amides, and esters, for which there is resonance-associated stability as a lone-pair of electrons interacts with the p orbital of the carbonyl carbon resulting in increased delocalization in the molecule. This stability would be lost by addition of a reagent to the carbonyl group. Hence, these compounds are more resistant to addition reactions. Also, with carboxylic acids, there is the effect of the compound acting as a base, leaving the resulting carboxylate negatively charged and hence no longer vulnerable to nucleophilic attack.


If DNPH is stored improperly and left to dry out, it can become explosive.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Allen, C. F. H. (1933). "2,4-Dinitrophenylhydrazine". Organic Syntheses. 13: 36. doi:10.15227/orgsyn.013.0036.
  2. ^ http://wiki.colby.edu/download/attachments/110920618/Experiment+%232.pdf?version=1&modificationDate=1265312071267
  3. ^ Adapted from Chemistry in Context, 4th Edition, 2000, Graham Hill and John Holman
  4. ^ Tameem, Abdassalam Abdelhafiz; Salhin, Abdussalam; Saad, Bahruddin; Rahman, Ismail Ab.; Saleh, Muhammad Idiris; Ng, Shea-Lin; Fun, Hoong-Kun (2006). "Benzophenone 2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazone". Acta Crystallographica Section E. 62 (12): o5686–o5688. doi:10.1107/S1600536806048112.
  5. ^ Brady, Oscar L.; Elsmie, Gladys V. (1926). "The use of 2:4-dinitrophenylhydrazine as a reagent for aldehydes and ketones". Analyst. 51 (599): 77–78. Bibcode:1926Ana....51...77B. doi:10.1039/AN9265100077.
  6. ^ "Bomb disposal squads detonate chemical stocks in British schools". The Guardian. 2 November 2016. Retrieved 19 March 2018.