The Fischer Esterification Of An Unknown Acid

979 WordsNov 7, 20164 Pages
Fischer Esterification 5. Introduction In this experiment, the Fischer Esterification of an unknown acid and an unknown alcohol was used to prepare an unknown ester. Sulfuric acid was used as a catalyst in the reaction which then was put under reflux. After cooling, the pH of the solution was raised to approximately 8 using sodium carbonate. Diethyl ether was added, then the aqueous layer was removed and the organic layer was washed with sodium chloride. The aqueous layer was removed again and sodium sulfate was added. The unknown product was then identified using gas chromatography (GC) to obtain the retention time. 6. Data and Results The GC data for the product produced graph with a signal level out-of-range in peak. This gave a retention time 2.952 minutes. This would not indicate any of the possible ester products. However, after appropriate dilution, a retention time of 1.753 minutes was obtained. This retention time indicates that the ester product was ethyl benzoate. 7. Discussion and Conclusion Hydrogens, alkyls, or aryls bonded to carboxyl groups—made up of a carbonyl group and a hydroxyl group—are known as carboxylic acids. Derivatives of carboxylic acids include acid chlorides, esters, anhydrides, amides, and generally nitriles. These derivatives are formed by the replacement of the hydroxyl group with a different electronegative heteroatom substituent, which can be a single atom, such as a chlorine atom, or a group of atoms, such as in the formation of

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