World Journal of Organic Chemistry
ISSN (Print): 2372-2150 ISSN (Online): 2372-2169 Website: Editor-in-chief: Subrata Shaw
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World Journal of Organic Chemistry. 2020, 8(1), 7-10
DOI: 10.12691/wjoc-8-1-3
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On the Mechanism of the Serullas Test for Morphine

Francisco Sánchez-Viesca1, and Reina Gómez1

1Organic Chemistry Department, Faculty of Chemistry, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City (CDMX), Mexico

Pub. Date: May 20, 2020

Cite this paper:
Francisco Sánchez-Viesca and Reina Gómez. On the Mechanism of the Serullas Test for Morphine. World Journal of Organic Chemistry. 2020; 8(1):7-10. doi: 10.12691/wjoc-8-1-3


The reaction of iodic acid with morphine (Serullas colour test) has not been studied. It is a very sensitive reaction published in France that had a great resonance in Europe and in the United States. However, there is no reaction mechanism advanced. We provide the electron flow, step by step, of this oxidation of morphine. An aromatic hydroxylation and then ortho-quinone formation are described. This spot test opens a route to o-quinones from phenols, and this is important. A brief Serullas’ profile and references of the test are included.

aromatic hydroxylation colour test iodic acid o-quinones reactive intermediates

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