ANDREW LAMBERT PHOTOGRAPHY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ANDREW LAMBERT PHOTOGRAPHY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Silver mirror test. Tollen's reagent reacted with an aldehyde produces a silver mirror (right). This is a diagnostic test used to distinguish between aldehydes (organic compounds with a -CO.H group) and closely related ketones (-CO.C). The Tollen's reagent (ammoniacal silver oxide) and ethanal (or acetaldehyde, CH3CHO) are reacted in a test tube (left). The ethanal reduces the complex silver ions to metallic silver, which deposit on the inside of the reaction vessel (right).
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