Synthesis of Aspirin Lab Report

2989 Words12 Pages
Abstract:
The goal of this experiment was to synthesize aspirin. In this experiment aspirin, also known as acetylsalicylic acid, was synthesized from salicylic acid and acetic anhydride. In the reaction the hydroxyl group on the benzene ring in salicylic acid reacted with acetic anhydride to form an ester functional group. This method of forming acetylsalicylic acid is an esterification reaction. Since this esterification reaction is not spontaneous, sulfuric acid was used as a catalyst to initiate the reaction. After the reaction was complete some unreacted acetic anhydride and salicylic acid was still be present in the solution as well as some sulfuric acid, aspirin, and acetic acid. Crystallization, which uses the principle of
…show more content…
Hofmann worked for Bayer, which then named acetylsalicylic acid compound aspirin. Aspirin became commercially available in 1899 and today it is estimated that over a trillion aspirin tablets have been consumed by those in need of its curative effects.

In this experiment aspirin was synthesized from salicylic acid and acetic anhydride.
Salicylic acid was esterfied using acetic acid and sulfuric acid acting as a catalyst to produce acetylsalicylic acid and acetic acid. The phenol group that will attack the carbonyl carbon of the acetic anhydride is the –OH group that is directly attached to the benzene since it is more basic than the –OH group attached to the carbonyl group. This method of forming acetylsalicylic acid is an esterification reaction. Since this esterification reaction is not spontaneous, sulfuric acid was used as a catalyst to initiate the reaction. Sulfuric acid serves as the acid catalyst since its conjugate base is a strong deprotonating group that is necessary in order for this reaction to be reversible. The need for the strong conjugate base is the reason why other strong acids such as HCl is not used since its conjugate base Cl- is very weak compared to HSO3-. After the reaction was complete some unreacted acetic anhydride and salicylic acid was still be present in
Get Access