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Janovsky Reaction

Published Online: 15 SEP 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470638859.conrr344

Comprehensive Organic Name Reactions and Reagents

Comprehensive Organic Name Reactions and Reagents

How to Cite

2010. Janovsky Reaction. Comprehensive Organic Name Reactions and Reagents. 344:1542–1546.

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2010

Chemistry Terms

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The reaction between aromatics containing multinitro groups and aldehydes or ketones with an activated α-proton in the presence of a strong base to form coloring molecules, for detection of both carbonyl compounds and nitroaromatics is generally referred to as the Janovsky reaction and the product formed is known as Janovsky adduct. It has been reported that substituents other than the nitro groups on the aromatic rings may influence the reactivity of substrates or alter the resonance of the nitro groups in the quinoid ion. On the other hand, the relative location of the nitro groups also affect the outcome of this reaction. The addition of enolate to the nitroaromatics at low temperature is primarily through an O-attack and at high temperature the O-attack intermediate gradually changes to the anion originated from C-attack. This reaction has been further modified to measure 3,5-dinitrobenzamide using ammonium hydroxide as base. This reaction has wide applications in forensic toxicology, agriculture ,and pharmaceutical testing.


  • DDT;
  • Janovsky test;
  • Janovsky adduct;
  • potassium hydroxide