Distinction of Primary, secondary and tertiary alcohols by Victor Meyers Method

Primary, secondary and tertiary alcohols can be distinguished by the following methods:

1.Victor Meyer’s Method   2. Lucas’s test 3. Oxidation Test

1. Victor Meyer’s Method: This is the well-known method to distinguish 1⁰, 2 ⁰ and 3 ⁰ alcohols by using different reagents and colour formation.

Firstly, given alcohol is treated with red P4 and I2 to give iodoalkane.

Iodoalkane is then treated with alcoholic AgNO2 (silver nitrite) to form nitroalkane.

Thus formed nitroalkane is treated with nitrous acid (HNO2) and with aqueous NaOH.

If blood red coloration appears 1⁰ alcohol is confirmed, blue coloration confirms 2⁰ alcohol and no coloration confirms 3⁰ alcohol.

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