Pharmaceutisch weekblad

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 701–704 | Cite as

Cu(II) complexation of sulfanilamide derivatives

  • A. Bult
  • J. D. Uitterdijk
  • H. B. Klasen
Original Articles


Cu(II) salts produce coloured compounds with sulfanilamides. InPh. Ned. VIII (derived fromPh. Eur. 1) two modifications of this reaction are applied for identification purposes of sulfanilamides, namely:
  1. 1.

    the reaction of copper sulphate in alkaline medium and

  2. 2.

    the reaction of copper acetate in methanolic solution.


Based on the results of a study of the isolation and structure determination of Cu(II) sulfanilamide complexes a variant of reaction (1) is formulated and compared with reaction (1) and (2). The variant is more useful as a general identification test on sulfanilamides, without loss of selectivity. The selectivity of the reaction is based on a relationship between the observed colour and the nature of the sulfanilamide (especially theN- 1 substituent).

The colour formation of reaction (2) mostly differs from reaction (1) and the variant. Acetate acts as a deprotonating agent for the sulfanilamide. Solubility problems of the sulfanilamides prohibit the general application of reaction (2) as an identification test.


Colour Formation Sulfanilamide Copper Sulphate Copper Acetate Pharmaceutisch Weekblad Scientific Edition 
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Copyright information

© Bohn, Scheltema & Holkema 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Bult
    • 1
  • J. D. Uitterdijk
    • 1
  • H. B. Klasen
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory for Pharmaceutical and Analytical ChemistryState UniversityGroningenThe Netherlands

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