- To study esterification reaction between alcohol and carboxylic acid
- Ethanoic acid (3 mL)
- Ethanol (3 mL)
- few drops of conc. H2SO4
- conc. sulphuric acid
- sodium hydrogen-carbonate (1 g)
- a test tube
- In a clean test tube take 3 mL ethanoic acid.
- Add about 3 mL ethanol to it. Also add four to five drops of conc. H2SO4 to the reaction mixture
- Warm the mixture gently over spirit lamp and shake the reaction mixture occasionally.
- Pour the reaction mixture into a beaker containing aqueous solution of sodium hydrogencarbonate. This will remove the unreacted ethanoic acid from the reaction mixture. Notice the effervesence
- Fan the liberated vapours of ester formed with your hand gently towards your nose and smell.
- Feel the difference in the odours of ethanoic acid, ethanol and ester.
Observations and Findings:
- Esterification of ethanoic acid with ethanol forms ethyl ethanoate which has a smell like PVC glue or nail polish remover
- Carboxylic acid react with alcohols in presence of conc. H2SO4 to form esters with a loss of water molecule. For example when ethanoic acid reacts with ethanol, the ethyl ethaonate ester is formed.