Skip to main content
Select Source:

Fehling's solution

Fehling's solution (fā´lĬngz), deep-blue, alkaline solution used to test for the presence of aldehydes (e.g., formaldehyde, HCHO) or other compounds that contain the aldehyde functional group, -CHO. The substance to be tested is heated with Fehling's solution; formation of a brick-red precipitate indicates the presence of the aldehyde group. Simple sugars (e.g., glucose) give a positive test, so the solution has been used to test for the presence of glucose in urine, a symptom of diabetes; Benedict's solution, which gives the same test, is now more widely used. Fehling's solution is prepared just before use by mixing equal volumes of two previously prepared solutions, one containing about 70 grams cupric sulfate pentahydrate per liter of solution and the other containing about 350 grams Rochelle salt (potassium sodium tartrate tetrahydrate) and 100 grams sodium hydroxide per liter of solution. The cupric ion (complexed with tartrate ion) is reduced to cuprous ion by the aldehyde (which is oxidized) and precipitates as cuprous oxide (Cu2O); for this reason, sugars that react with Fehling's solution are called reducing sugars.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Fehling's solution." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 28 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Fehling's solution." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 28, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/fehlings-solution

"Fehling's solution." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved June 28, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/fehlings-solution

Benedict's solution

Benedict's solution, deep-blue alkaline solution used to test for the presence of the aldehyde functional group, -CHO. The substance to be tested is heated with Benedict's solution; formation of a brick-red precipitate indicates presence of the aldehyde group. Since simple sugars (e.g., glucose) give a positive test, the solution is used to test for the presence of glucose in urine, a symptom of diabetes. One liter of Benedict's solution contains 173 grams sodium citrate, 100 grams sodium carbonate, and 17.3 grams cupric sulfate pentahydrate. It reacts chemically like Fehling's solution; the cupric ion (complexed with citrate ions) is reduced to cuprous ion by the aldehyde group (which is oxidized), and precipitates as cuprous oxide, Cu2O.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Benedict's solution." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 28 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Benedict's solution." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 28, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/benedicts-solution

"Benedict's solution." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved June 28, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/benedicts-solution