Fischer Esterification

Decent Essays

Fischer Esterification

By Bohlin


In this experiment, an unknown alcohol underwent a Fischer Esterification reaction by reacting it with acetic acid as well as sulfuric acid catalyst. The unknown product material was purified through distillation and characterized by analyzing an IR spectrum and determining the density of the product. In addition, the boiling point test was performed to test for an ester. Lastly, the starting material, an unknown alcohol, was determined after finding out the product and examining the IR spectrum for the reactant.


An acetate was synthesized by reacting an alcohol with acetic acid. Since the acetic acid, a carboxylic acid, is less reactive than the acetate, an ester, the sulfuric …show more content…

The very strong peak at 1033 cm is due to a o-ch-c stretch and is diagnostic of a o-ch2-c antisymmetric stretch for primary acetates with the literature value of 1060-1030 cm.

Also, the similarity between the database reference of Isobutyl Acetate, reference IR data graph included, and the experimental IR would also suggest that the products are the same and suggest that the unknown reagent was Isobutyl Alcohol.

The density of the product was not able to be recorded due to spillage.

The smell had no distinguishable characteristics to be used for identification.

Based on the boiling point of the ester,119.0 C, the data suggests Isobutyl Acetate was the product and would suggest Isobutyl Alcohol as the unknown alcohol reagent.

Based on the supporting data above it is suggested that the unknown alcohol was Isobutyl Alcohol.


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