Luminol is one of the best known and most widely used chemiluminescent compounds, which glows with a bright blue light when activated with an oxidizing agent like hydrogen peroxide in an alkaline solution in the presence of a catalyst.
How is Luminol used in forensics?
Forensic investigators use luminol to detect trace amounts of blood at crime scenes, as it reacts with the iron in hemoglobin. Biologists use it in cellular assays to detect copper, iron, cyanides, as well as specific proteins via western blotting.
What is luminol made of?
The “central” chemical in this reaction is luminol (C8H7O3N3), a powdery compound made up of nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen and carbon. Criminalists mix the luminol powder with a liquid containing hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), a hydroxide (OH-) and other chemicals, and pour the liquid into a spray bottle.
Is there a catalyst in the synthesis of luminol?
Luminol is an interesting molecule because, when oxidized, it releases energy in the form of light. Fans of the CSI television series will recognize it as part of a forensic test for blood. The first step in the preparation of luminol involves the reaction of 3-nitrophthalic acid, 1, with hydrazine, 2.
How does Luminol work on blood?
Luminol is used by crime scene investigators to locate blood — even if it has been removed or cleaned up years ago! This is because luminol is able to react with the iron in haemoglobin – an oxygen-carrying and iron-containing protein in red blood cells.