Chapter 34. Lab VIII-2 Detect Alkaloid Poisons with Dragendorff’s Reagent

Equipment and Materials

You’ll need the following items to complete this lab session. (The FK01 Forensic Science Kit for this book, available from, includes the items listed in the first group.)

Materials from Kit

  • Goggles

  • Dragendorff’s reagent

  • Centrifuge tubes, 15 mL

  • Centrifuge tubes, 50 mL

  • Chromatography paper

  • Hydrochloric acid

  • Pipettes

  • Ruler

  • Spot plate

  • Test tubes

  • Test tube rack

  • Specimen: caffeine

  • Specimen: poppy seeds

Materials you Provide

  • Gloves

  • Cotton swabs

  • Pencil

  • Scissors

  • Toothpicks, plastic

  • UV light source (optional)

  • Water, distilled or deionized

  • Specimen(s): alkaloids (optional; see text)


Dragendorff’s reagent is corrosive and toxic. Hydrochloric acid ...

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