An instrument-free classification of phenolic compounds using ferric chloride reagent to improve organic chemistry teaching and learning


  • Kotchakorn Klangmanee Department of Chemistry and Center of Excellence for Innovation in Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Burapha University
  • Anan Athipornchai Department of Chemistry and Center of Excellence for Innovation in Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Burapha University


Classification, Phenolic compounds, Ferric chloride, Organic chemistry


The chemistry of functional groups is an essential component of basic organic chemistry courses in the undergraduate level. A rapid qualitative method to classify the type of phenolic compounds for the improvement in organic chemistry teaching and learning has been developed. The solution of FeCl3 was used as the reagent. The different colors of the phenolic-Fe3+ complexes solutions were observed in the different types of phenolic compounds. The phenolic compounds with ortho-dihydroxy and orthotrihydroxy groups specifically obtained the dark green color of the solutions. In this paper, we present a low-cost detector, designed to classify the types of phenolic compounds based on visual observation of colors with a simple enough concept and operation to be used as a teaching tool.


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