Verification of alcohols with Cerium(IV) ammonium nitrate

Chemicals needed

Distilled water

Ethanol GSLEICHT.gif (932 Byte) F    R 11    S (2)-7-16

denatured alcohol

ceric ammonium nitrate nitric acid solution  GSATZEND.gif (935 Byte) C    R 34     S (1/2)-23-26-27

Preparation (German)

Other primary or secondary alcohols can also be tested. In the case of water-insoluble alcohols one can use as a solvent, 1,4-Dioxan, for example.

Equipment needed

test tube

Test procedure



With Cer(IV) primary and secondary alcohols are oxidated into aldehydes or ketones, Cer(IV) is thereby reduced to red Cer(III).


Coloration due to the detection reaction


derived from [5], p. 709, "Cerium(IV) Nitrate Test"