Determination of Unknown Liquid (2-Butanol)

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-1Determination of an Unknown Liquid (2-butanol) Through Fundamental Analysis

Lee Billips
Department of Chemistry, Shippensburg University, 1871 Old Main Drive. Shippensburg, PA, 17257.

Abstract: The identification and characterization of unknowns are an important part of organic chemistry. It is fundamental to know experimental methods to deductively identify compounds (1) . The determination of unknown #6 (2-butanol) was identified by a series of test; first taking the boiling point (94-96 C), performing a solubility test, Beilstien test, Ignition test, and the appropriate functional group tests. An infrared spectrum and an NMR spectrum were then obtained and confirmation of the compound was proved.

2-butanol (sec-butyl
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Having both solutions, the instructor then gave confirmation on which one to continue to use for succeeding tests.

(1) Next test performed was the solubility test, which narrowed down the identity of the main functional group of the solution using the chart on page 455 of reference 1. Each solubility test was performed by taking 2mL of the solvent and adding 1 drop of the unknown in a small test tube. Once both solvent and solute were in the test tube it could be gently tapped with a finger to ensure mixing. If the mixture had a line of heterogeneous quality than the solute was insoluble in the solvent; if mixture appeared homogenous than it was soluble. Performing this technique throughout the chart with each solvent the functional group was eventually deduced down.

Once there was an idea of what functional group was present an IR was taken to ensure skepticism. First the IR program was brought up on the computer and a blank was ran. Each of the two salt plates were washed with ethanol and a drop of the unknown placed in-between them. When the blank came to a completion the salt plates (sandwiched together with unknown in) were placed in the IR and the sample was ran.

Then the Beilstein test was performed to see if a halogen was present. A Bunsen burner was adjusted so the flame was a blue tint and a copper wire heated up

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