Differentiate between primary, secondary and tertiary alcohol By Victor Meyer method.


The Victor Meyer test is used to differentiate between primary, secondary and tertiary alcohol by the colour they obtain when they interact with the victor Meyer reagent. There are a few steps to follow this method.

  1. The alcohol is treated with iodine in the presence of red phosphorus to give iodol alkane
  2. Iodoalkane is allowed to react with alcoholic silver nitrate to obtain nitro alkane
  3. The nitro alkane is then treated with nitrous acid and the solution which resulted is made alkaline
  4. The colour is observed as below

10 alcohols – Blood Red colour

20 alcohols – Blue colour

30 – No colour is observed.

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