Willow Tree Lab Report

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Egyptian scrolls dating back to 1534 BC were found discussing the medical ability of the willow tree to relive aches and pains. Even the famous Hippocrates wrote about the powder that could be obtained from the willow tree in 5th century BC. In 216 AD, the willow tree was a popular medicinal product used throughout the world. However the raw product taken from the willow tree had harsh effects on the body and stomach. Throughout the 1800’s many chemists attempted to covert salicylic acid into a form that would provide the same medical benefits without the side effects. In 1852, Charles Gerhart was the first to attempt to acetylate the hydroxyl group thus creating acetylsalicylic acid. However the acetylsalicylic acid product
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Impurities in this experiment can result from incomplete acetylation of aspirin or hydrolysis of the aspirin during the isolation steps. The first test to determine the purity of the sample was to take the mass of the of acetylsalicylic acid product and compare it to the theoretical yield. The percent yield of the acetylsalicylic acid sample was 99.36% which indicates that the experiment was successful and followed the rules of chemistry. The second test to determine the purity of the sample was to mix 2.5% ferric chloride with a few crystals of acetylsalicylic acid product. The ferric chloride will create an iron-phenol complex with iron that causes a color change ranging from red to violet color. When the acetylsalicylic acid crystals are mixed with the ferric chloride, there should be no color change indicating no impurity. However when the acetylsalicylic acid crystals were mixed the ferric chloride, a color change of light pink occurred. The light pink indicates that a slight impurity exists in the acetylsalicylic acid crystals. The third test to determine the purity of the sample was to test the boiling point of the acetylsalicylic acid crystals. The boiling point of the acetylsalicylic acid crystals created in this experiment ranged between 87.5°C and 94.2°C. The approximate boiling point of aspirin is 140°C further indicating that the aspirin created in this experiment has impurities.
Although the acetylsalicylic acid crystals that were created follow the rules of chemistry, the product has impurities indicating error was made in the experiment. The error could have been caused by unclean glassware, mistakes in the hot water bath or cold water bath or containments in the drying process. The data table for the results found in this experiment is

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