Tollens test is used to distinguish between ketones and aldehydes wherein it oxidizes aldehydes into a carboxylic acid (according to my textbook). However, another book says acetone gives a positive test so why does acetone (a ketone) give a positive test?


  • 3
    $\begingroup$ What is the "another book" that says so? $\endgroup$
    – user55119
    Jun 23 at 22:15
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ The interesting thing is you have thrown out what your textbook says and have taken without doubt what the other book says as confirmed truth. Why have not you done research of independent sources? $\endgroup$
    – Poutnik
    Jun 24 at 4:46

1 Answer 1


Acetone does NOT give a positive Tollens test.

This learning resource specifically states that Tollens may be used to distinguish between acetaldehyde and acetone. This Quora answer here confirms. This article in the Journal of Chemical Education gives a clear summary of the way the test works which precludes ketones giving a positive test.

I would advise that you discard the book that says it does.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.