Mecke reagent

The Mecke reagent is used as a simple spot-test to presumptively identify alkaloids as well as other compounds. It is composed of a mixture of selenous acid and concentrated sulfuric acid,[1] which is dripped onto the substance being tested.

The United States Department of Justice method for producing the reagent is the addition of 100 mL of concentrated (95–98%) sulfuric acid to 1 g of selenious acid.[2]

Final colors produced by Mecke Reagent with various substances[2]
Substance Color
Chlorpromazine HClBlackish red
CodeineVery dark bluish green
Diacetylmorphine HCl (Heroin)Deep bluish green
Dimethoxy-meth HClDark brown
Doxepin HClVery dark red
DristanLight olive brown
ExedrineDark greyish yellow
LSDGreenish black
MaceDark greyish olive
Methylenedioxyamphetamine HCl (MDA)Very dark blue
Mescaline HClModerate olive
Morphine monohydrateVery dark bluish green
OpiumOlive black
Oxycodone HClModerate olive
Propoxyphene HClDeep reddish brown
PMMAPale Olive Green[3]
PMAPale Olive Green[3] or light green[4]
SugarBrilliant greenish yellow

See also


  1. "Mecke Reagent Testing Kit (Red Label)". Dancesafe. Archived from the original on 2012-01-24. Retrieved 2012-01-26.
  2. "Color Test Reagents/Kits for Preliminary Identification of Drugs of Abuse" (PDF). Law Enforcement and Corrections Standards and Testing Program. July 2000. Retrieved 2011-07-24.
  3. EMCDDA (30 Mar 2011). EMCDDA Risk Assessment: Report on the Risk Assessment of PMMA in the Framework of the Joint Action on New Synthetic Drugs. Dictus Publishing. p. 54. ISBN 978-3-8433-2695-7. Retrieved 2012-01-25.
  4. "Clarke's Analysis of Drugs and Poisons". Pharmaceutical Press. 2011. doi:10.1080/00450618.2011.620006. ISBN 978-0-85369-711-4.

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