Lab 6 –
Synthesis of Esters (Esterification)
chemical compounds which are synthesized from the condensation of a carboxylic
acid and an alcohol, a process known as esterification. Triglycerides, made of
three fatty acids and a glycerol, are common examples of naturally occurring esters
found within living organisms, being the main constituents of animal fats and
oils. Due to their distinctive odors, esters are also used within the production
of fragrances and artificial flavors.
in scents are generated by reacting alcohols and carboxylic acids of different
strengths and configurations. As shown in Equation
1, esterification reactions consist of the substitution of the hydroxyl
group (OH) on an organic or inorganic acid, by either a primary, secondary or
tertiary alcohol; creating water as a byproduct.
1: General Esterification Equation
In this investigation,
various alcohol and carboxylic acid pairs were reacted amongst each other to
form esters with the catalytic aid of sulphuric acid, H2SO4(aq).
Hereafter, the distinct smell of each ester was determined and recorded through
the wafting technique.