Phosphomolybdic acid
Phosphomolybdic acid, also known as dodeca molybdophosphoric acid or PMA is a component of Masson's trichrome stain. It is a yellow-green compound, freely soluble in water and polar organic solvents such as ethanol
Ethanol, also called ethyl alcohol, pure alcohol, grain alcohol, or drinking alcohol, is a volatile, flammable, colorless liquid. It is a psychoactive drug and one of the oldest recreational drugs. Best known as the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, it is also used in thermometers, as a...

. It is used as a reagent in thin layer chromatography for staining phenolic
Polyphenols are a structural class of natural, synthetic, and semisynthetic organic chemicals characterized by the presence of large multiples of phenol structural units...

s, hydrocarbon
In organic chemistry, a hydrocarbon is an organic compound consisting entirely of hydrogen and carbon. Hydrocarbons from which one hydrogen atom has been removed are functional groups, called hydrocarbyls....

thumb|right|[[Cetyl palmitate]], a typical wax ester.Wax refers to a class of chemical compounds that are plastic near ambient temperatures. Characteristically, they melt above 45 °C to give a low viscosity liquid. Waxes are insoluble in water but soluble in organic, nonpolar solvents...

es, alkaloid
Alkaloids are a group of naturally occurring chemical compounds that contain mostly basic nitrogen atoms. This group also includes some related compounds with neutral and even weakly acidic properties. Also some synthetic compounds of similar structure are attributed to alkaloids...

s and steroid
A steroid is a type of organic compound that contains a characteristic arrangement of four cycloalkane rings that are joined to each other. Examples of steroids include the dietary fat cholesterol, the sex hormones estradiol and testosterone, and the anti-inflammatory drug dexamethasone.The core...


Conjugated, unsaturated compounds reduce PMA to molybdenum blue
Molybdenum blue
Molybdenum blue is a term applied to:*reduced heteropolymolybdate complexes, polyoxometalates containing Mo, Mo, and a hetero atom such as phosphorus or silicon...

. The colour intensifies with increasing number of double bonds in the molecule being stained.
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