The purpose of the experiment wasto prepare a product with the acid and alcohol given at each station produce aspecific product and determine which ester we produced.

An ester (R-COOR) isthe product of a carboxylic acid (R’-COOH) and an alcohol (R’-OH). The Rrepresents alkyl groups in the carboxylic acid and in the alcohol, the R musthave at least one carbon atom. When naming an ester, you must first identifywhere the carboxylic acid and the alcohol is.

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The alkyl comes from the parentalcohol and the second part of the name comes from the carboxylic acid. For thealcohol, the root name depends on the longest chain that contains the -OHgroup. You take the hydrocarbon name and replace the “e” with an “ol.

” For thecarboxylic acid, the root name depends on the longest chain that includes thecarbonyl group. You take the hydrocarbon with the carboxyl group on end C andreplace the “e” with “oic acid.” When the acid and the alcohol is combined andheated, ester is formed from the condensation.

This process is known as Fischeresterification named after Emil Fischer who first described the process. Forthis reaction to reach equilibrium, the reaction would have to be heated inorder to achieve the maximum rate of equilibrium so that the highest amount ofwanted ester would be produced. In order to shift the equilibrium towards theester, the excess reagent would have to be used to drive the reaction forwardto favor the wanted ester. In the process, the product would also containalcohol and carboxylic acid.

The reaction can be catalyzed or accelerated whenthere are H+ ions present. In this lab, sulfuric acid (H2SO4)was used to speed up the reaction. Natural esters have a sweet scent that arenormally found in different fruits or in scents that are used to make candlesor air fresheners. 

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