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Tollens' Reagent
AgNO3 dissolved in aqueous ammonia
Used to distinguish between an aldehyde and a ketone
Aldehydes can be easily oxidised whereas ketones
cannot
When aldehydes are oxidised, the oxidising agent is
reduced
Therefore Tollens' reagent can be used to oxidise the
aldehyde which changes colour when it is reduced
Tollens' reagent is colourless but forms a silver mirror
when reduced
Ag+(aq) + e- -------> Ag (s)
Silver ions in the Tollens' reagent are reduced from the
electrons which come from the oxidation of the aldehyde.
Ag forms the silver mirror
Ketones aren't oxidised and won't react with Tollens'
reagent. Therefore no colour change…read more

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