Ester Synthesis Lab Report

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Introduction
The functional group, ester, is composed of an oxygen atom bonded to a carbon that is double-bonded to an oxygen. Esters occur naturally in flowers, fruits, and spices. Similarly, carboxylic esters are typically used in the formulation of artificial flavorings, as they have characteristic smells and tastes. Isopentyl acetate is a carboxylic ester associated with a banana scent. Ficher-Speier esterfication is the technique used in order to synthesize isopentyl acetate. This type of esterfication involves the reaction between a carboxylic acid and an alcohol in the presence of an acid catalyst. The esterfication mechanism in this experiment involves the reaction between glacial acetic acid and isopentyl alcohol with sulfuric acid
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Sulfuric acid is necessary to catalyze the reaction, as esterfication is an equilibrium mechanism and is typically slow. Heat is used to further aid in this process. Consequently, refluxing with a water-cooled condenser is used to provide a reasonable yield within a reasonable time. Refluxing provides a better percent yield. The water-cooled condenser condenses the vapors that were produced, as the solvent boils, and returns it to the reaction vessel. A dry air tube was attached to remove the smell being produced. The National Toxicology Program states that isopentyl acetate can be used in multiple ways. The compound is popularly used in artificially flavoring sodas, gum, candy, baked goods, gelatins, and non-alcoholic beverages. Similarly, it can be utilized in scenting soaps, lotions, candles, and perfumes. The substance is also vital in the manufacturing process of artificial silk, leather, pearls, metallic paint, and finishing textiles. These are only a few examples of isopentyl acetate uses in commercial America. As a result, isopentyl acetate and the ability to synthesize the compound through Fischer-Speier esterfication is a necessary …show more content…
This, coupled with the 454 mg of isopentyl acetate produced experimentally, resulted in a 36.97% yield. This low percent yield occurs because complete transfer of product is nearly impossible during extraction and decanting. Correspondingly, water, which was a minor product, was removed from the isopentyl acetate. This separation would have correlated to a lower percent yield, as only the major product was taken into consideration. The IR spectrum revealed peaks indicative of isopentyl acetate. Isopentyl acetate is comprised of a saturated ester with alkanes. The IR absorptions of this experiment were compared to the IR absorptions of standard functional groups as indicated by UCLA. The medium peaks between 3000-2850 cmˉˡ are characteristic of alkanes in the organic compound. The strong peaks between 1750-1735 cmˉˡ express the presence of carbon double bonded to oxygen in saturated esters. Similarly, the strong peaks between 1320-1000 cmˉˡ indicate the presence of carbon bonded to oxygen in esters. However, while these wavelengths are indicative of esters in the product, similar wavelengths are used to express carbon-oxygen and oxygen-hydrogen bonds in carboxylic acid, alcohol, and water. Therefore, it is not completely accurate to state that the final product is pure of unwanted reactants and minor products.

Consequently, this procedure could be improved. First, the

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