Mecke reagent

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The Mecke reagent is used as a simple spot-test to presumptively identify alkaloids as well as other compounds. It is composed of a mixture of selenous acid and concentrated sulfuric acid,[1] which is dripped onto the substance being tested.

The United States Department of Justice method for producing the reagent is the addition of 100 mL of concentrated (95–98%) sulfuric acid to 1 g of selenous acid.[2]

Final colors produced by Mecke Reagent with various substances[2]
Substance Color
Chlorpromazine Blackish red
Codeine Very dark bluish green
Diacetylmorphine (Heroin) Deep bluish green
DMMA Dark brown
Doxepin Very dark red
Dristan Light olive brown
Exedrine Dark greyish yellow
LSD Greenish black
Mace Dark greyish olive
Methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) Very dark blue
Mescaline Moderate olive
Morphine monohydrate Very dark bluish green
Opium Olive black
Oxycodone Moderate olive
Propoxyphene Deep reddish brown
PMMA Pale olive green[3]
PMA Pale olive green[3] or light green[4]
Sugar Brilliant greenish yellow

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Mecke Reagent Testing Kit (Red Label)". Dancesafe. Archived from the original on 2012-01-24. Retrieved 2012-01-26.
  2. ^ a b "Color Test Reagents/Kits for Preliminary Identification of Drugs of Abuse" (PDF). Law Enforcement and Corrections Standards and Testing Program. July 2000. Retrieved 2011-07-24.
  3. ^ a b 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.
  4. ^ "Clarke's Analysis of Drugs and Poisons". Pharmaceutical Press. 2011. doi:10.1080/00450618.2011.620006. ISBN 978-0-85369-711-4. S2CID 71790993.

External links[edit]