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.
- The alcohol is treated with iodine in the presence of red phosphorus to give iodol alkane
- Iodoalkane is allowed to react with alcoholic silver nitrate to obtain nitro alkane
- The nitro alkane is then treated with nitrous acid and the solution which resulted is made alkaline
- The colour is observed as below
10 alcohols – Blood Red colour
20 alcohols – Blue colour
30 – No colour is observed.