Making esters from alcohols and acids

Description

Investigate the reactions between a range of alcohols and acids on a test-tube scale, by producing small quantities of a variety of esters quickly.

Credits

:
This is an experiment from the Practical Chemistry project, developed by the Nuffield Foundation and the Royal Society of Chemistry.
making-esters-from-alcoho...



Apparatus Chemicals

Each working group will require:

Eye protection

Glass specimen tubes, 4 (Note 1)

Plastic dropping pipettes, access to adequate supply

Beaker (100 cm3 or 250 cm3), (Note 1)

Test-tubes, 4

Test-tube rack

Bunsen burner

Heat resistant mat

Tripod and gauze

Crucible tongs

Glacial (concentrated) ethanoic acid (CORROSIVE), about 2 cm3

Propanoic acid (CORROSIVE), about 2 cm3

Benzoic acid (HARMFUL), about 0.2 g

Concentrated sulfuric acid (CORROSIVE), 5-10 drops (Note 2)

Access to the following alcohols – about 10 drops of each required (Note 3):

Methanol (HIGHLY FLAMMABLE, TOXIC)

Ethanol (HIGHLY FLAMMABLE and HARMFUL if using Industrial Denatured Alcohol, IDA)

Propan-1-ol (HIGHLY FLAMMABLE, IRRITANT)

Butan-1-ol (HARMFUL)

One or more other alcohols, as available, from:

Butan-2-ol (IRRITANT)

Propan-2-ol (HIGHLY FLAMMABLE, IRRITANT)

2-Methylpropan-1-ol (IRRITANT)

Sodium carbonate solution, 0.5 M, about 10 cm3 per ester

Refer to Health & Safety and Technical notes section below for additional information.

 





 



Investigate the reactions between a range of alcohols and acids on a test-tube scale, by producing small quantities of a variety of esters quickly.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

This is a resource from the Practical Chemistry project, developed by the Nuffield Foundation and the Royal Society of Chemistry. This collection of over 200 practical activities demonstrates a wide range of chemical concepts and processes. Each activity contains comprehensive information for teachers and technicians, including full technical notes and step-by-step procedures. Practical Chemistry activities accompany Practical Physics and Practical Biology.