Dragendorff reagent

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The Dragendorff reagent is a detection reagent for alkaloids and tertiary amines .


When the reagent is added, alkaloids show a characteristic color. Tertiary amines can give yellow, orange and red to brown colors. Among other things, it is used in thin layer chromatography (TLC) as a spray or immersion reagent, for example for drug analysis .

The reagent is made up of bismuth oxide nitrate (bismuth subnitrate), tartaric acid and potassium iodide . A potassium tetraiodobismuthate complex is formed. Basic aliphatic amines are protonated (by the tartaric acid), the formation of an ion pair of the form [BiI 4 ] - [HNR 3 ] + which can no longer be solvated occurs .


The Dragendorff reagent was developed by the pharmacist Georg Dragendorff (1836–1898) and first published in 1872.


Individual evidence

  1. Nayeem AA, Khatun A, Rahman MS, Rahman M: Evaluation of phytochemical and pharmacological properties of Mikania cordata (Asteraceae) leaves . In: Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy . 3, No. 8, 2011, pp. 118-123.
  2. ^ Ghani A .: Medicinal Plants of Bangladesh , 1st. Edition, The Asiatic Society of Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh 1998, p. 505.
  3. Khatun A, Rahman M, Jahan S: Preliminary phytochemical and pharmacological screening of Murraya exotica Linn. leaves extract . In: Oriental Pharmacy and Experimental Medicine . 14, No. 3, 2014, pp. 223-229. doi : 10.1007 / s13596-014-0150-x .
  4. ^ Georg Dragendorff: Contributions to the judicial chemistry of individual organic poisons . Investigations from the Pharmaceutical Institute in Dorpat. 1st edition. Verlag der Kaiserliche Hofbuchhandlung Heinrich Schmitzdorff (Karl Böttger), Saint Petersburg 1872 ( limited preview in Google book search).