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CHEMISTRY : Chromatography

Dyes: Fast Violet 01

PROJECT TITLE: Dye characteristics: Fast Violet 01
LAST UPDATE: 2 Sep 2009
VERSION HISTORY: 1.0 - First release
1.1 - ? (28 Feb 1999)
1.2 - Revision of text and formatting. (2-Sep-2009)


Dye nick name: FAST VIOLET 01
Scientific name: Gentian Violet or Methyl Violet 2B
Colour: Violet
RGB colour Code : Red:Green:Blue = B0:50:F0
(Same as background of this cell)
Soluble in Water: NO
Soluble in Organic Solvents: YES
Most soluble in: Propanone
Least soluble in: Tetrachloromethane
Effect of heat while in solution: None, heat stable till 100C
Rf Value in 60% Ethanol: Rf Top = 0.95 ; Rf Center =0.90
Rf Valuein 60% Propanone: Rf Top = 0.91 ; Rf Center = 0.84


Reagent added Colour change
Hydrochloric Acid: Blue
Sulphuric Acid: Blue
Methanoic Acid: Blue (with xs acid)
Sodium Hydroxide: Colourless
Ammonia solution: Paler Violet
Sodium Sulphide: Colourless
Others: n/a


  1. Very common dye, especially in blue inks
  2. Very similar to the violet dye used to colour methylated spirit
  3. Seems to be precipitated by sodium hydroxide
  4. Reacts with strong acids to form a blue colour.


Reading the 'BDH cataologue of laboratory chemicals' and the 'dictionary of chemistry', there was an evidence that the violet dye which I nick named "Fast Violet 1" was one the Basic violet compounds

There are mentioned 3 types of basic violets in the former book (appendix) as shown below:
          BASIC VIOLET  1 --->  Methyl Violet 2B  	" Gentian violet "
          BASIC VIOLET  2 --->  New fuchsin       	" New Magenta "
          BASIC VIOLET  3 --->  Methyl Violet 6B) 	" Crystal violet"
          BASIC VIOLET  14 -->  Fuchsin basic		" Brilliant fuchsin"
Gentian violet solution was tested with chemical tests used above and the results were compared. The results with the corresponding chemicals were:
  	  Sulphuric Acid    	= Bright Blue
	  Sodium Hydroxide 	= Colourless
	  Ammonia solution  	= Colourless/pale violet
	  Sodium Sulphide   	= Colourless
Also when diluted with ethanol, gentian violet colour was almost identical to the colour of this violet dye (Fast Violet).

Since the results are identical, it is concluded that the violet dye used in the blue ink is Gentian violet or Methyl violet 2B. However other dyes were not tested and one cannot rule out that another such dye may possess similar reactions.

Thus the violet dye (nicked Fast Violet) has similar characteristics to: GENTIAN VIOLET also known as METHYL VIOLET 2B

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