Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science




The discovery of the usefulness of curcumin for detecting boron was made over 100 years ago. Since that time a great deal of work has been done in developing new methods based on this compound and in modifying and improving existing methods. However, very little has been done to determine the mechanism of the reactions involved or the structures of the compounds formed.

The purpose of this work was to gather evidence in support of the mechanism proposed in 1956 by Powell, Hardcastle and Poindexter for the formation of the boron - oxalic acid - curcumin complex (Rubrocuraumin) in the Naftel procedure for boron determination. This was done by investigation of the structures of rubrocurcumin and roscoyanin (the product of the reaction between borio acid and curcumin in the absence of oxalic acid) through the determination of their molecular weights and by investigation 0£ the molar ratios of the components of the complexes. A Mechrolab Model 301 Vapor Pressure Osmometer was used tor the work reported in this paper.

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