Identification of "Williams Red"


  1. Russell, M.C.
  2. Purdon, J.G.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Suffield, Ralston ALTA (CAN)
The report summarizes the analysis performed on the dye known as “William Red.” This work was performed under project CRTI-02-0043TA contracted from Allen Vanguard (purchase order number 1746). The object of this study was to identify the structure and composition of the dye for comparison to other, similar, known dyes. Rudimentary mass spectral and elemental analysis suggested that the identity of the dye was identical to that of the common dye, Sudan IV, with molecular weight of 380.5g/mol and molecular formula of C24H20N4O. A sample of Sudan IV was obtained from DRDC Suffield to compare to the Williams Red. The two dyes were analyzed using IR spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, NMR spectrometry, and UV-VIS spectroscopy, which confirmed that two dyes were in fact the same. The melting points were determined and gave supporting evidence of low molecular weight impurities. A review was performed on available literature regarding the carcinogenic and toxicological information on Sudan IV. Sudan IV is considered a category 3 (suspected) carcinogen and has been banned from food use but is still commonly used as a biological stain.
Report Number
DRDC-SUFFIELD-CR-2006-195 — Contractor Report
Date of publication
01 Mar 2006
Number of Pages
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