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I was wondering if the deactivating solution, sodium hydrogen sulfite, indicates the health of the catalyst by its color. I have many of these with a brown-orange tinge. I know that the only good way of determining the health of the catalyst is by performing the nitroindole reaction (or any other standards) but is the color still a good guideline?

The color of the deactivating solution has no connection with the catalyst quality, and you are right that the only way to check the quality is to manage a test reaction.
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