Multi Step Synthesis Of Aspirin

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This experiment explored the multi-step synthesis of synthesis acetylsalicylic acid commonly known as aspirin. A common procedure used in organic chemistry labs is multi step synthesis. this procedure involves a cascade of reactions that ultimately lead to a desire product. The series of reactions begins with commonly found or readily available reagents which are synthesized into products which can be used for a secondary reaction, and so on and so forth until the final desired product is synthesized (Ryerson Department of Chemistry, 2017).

In this experiment the synthesis of aspirin was used to find the importance of the efficiency of multistep synthesis as well as a means to explore a number or purity tests. The purity tests used in this experiment were a melting point range test, a thin layer chromatography test, a ferric chloride test, and infrared spectroscopy.

After the completion of the experiment it was found that the percent yield was 24% which is very low. This shows the importance of efficiency as the process of making aspirin, is a two step synthesis (Atienza et al., 2010) and 74% of theoretical product was converted into waste or lost. Also it was found that the end product was not pure aspirin as the sample of aspirin made failed two purity test. This revealed that not merely one purity test is not sufficient to denote a substance as pure.

The first step of the synthesis is to take pure methyl salicylate and hydrolyzed into salicylic acid,
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