Letter | Published:

Paper Partition Chromatography of Alcohols using the Potassium Xanthogenates

Naturevolume 168page511 (1951) | Download Citation



A FEW drops of the alcohol in a small test-tube are treated with 0.5 ml. of pure carbon disulphide and 0.1 gm. of pure powdered potassium hydroxide and the mixture shaken for some minutes. The liquid phase is decanted to another test-tube, evaporated and the residual xanthogenate dissolved in a drop of water. The resulting solution is developed by paper partition chromatography (ascending method) using alkaline butanol (2 per cent potassium hydroxide) as solvent. About twenty hours is required. The location of the xanthogenates on the paper is detected easily by their dark brown luminescence under ultraviolet light or by the yellow or blue colours produced by spraying with Grote's reagent1. In the case of solid alcohols, the xanthogenate formed is dissolved in formamide and developed in the same way. The RF of formamide solutions of potassium xanthogenates, however, indicates, assuming the following reaction, the values of the corresponding ammonium xanthogenates:

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  1. 1

    J. Biol. Chem., 93, 25 (1931).

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  1. Institute of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Kyoto University

  2. Kobe College of Pharmacy



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