Esterification Lab Report

Decent Essays
This week’s lab was an esterification reaction and the goals were to determine the unknown alcohol used for the reaction as well as the ester product. Esters appear in nature and are often an important component of many substances used in the flavor and fragrance industry. The ester made in this reaction was pentyl butanoate, which was made from butyric acid and an unknown acid. Pentyl butanoate is typically found in fruits such as apples, bananas, and apricot fruits. Some of the commercial uses of pentyl butanoate include food flavoring and an additive in cigarettes. The formation of an ester from an alcohol and a carboxylic acid can be catalyzed by strong acids such as sulfuric or anhydrous hydrogen chloride and is a reversible process.…show more content…
The product was not pure, which can be seen on the H NMR spectra of the product, containing impurities that resulted in the integrations to be slightly off. On the H NMR spectrum, it appears that the H’s farther away from the carbonyl and ester have the impurities since those are the slightly off integrations. Moreover, the splitting patterns for these H’s show some irregularities, which may be due to the impurities. Although the some integrations are inconsistent with the predicted product, when adjusted to account for impurities, the spectrum does confirm the isolation of an ester with the number of H’s (18 H’s) and constitutionally inequivalent H’s (5 H’s) matching. On the other hand, the identification of the unknown alcohol, found to be 1-pentanol, was easier in the respect that the H NMR was not contaminated. The H NMR showed 12 H’s and 5 constitutionally inequivalent H’s with 6 of the H’s having quartets in the ppm range of alkanes, as well as having a H in the ppm range of a C-OH. In addition to the IR spectrum, which showed an OH stretch at 3328.20 cm-1, a CH stretch for alkanes around 2850-2930 cm-1, and a CO stretch for alcohols at 1053.75 cm-1, the proposed alcohol of 1-pentanol could be confirmed to be the unknown alcohol. In order of discovery, the unknown alcohol was first found in order to predict the product of the
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