Ester Experiment

The Acidic Environment‎ > ‎5. Esterification‎ > ‎

Identify data, plan, select equipment and perform a first-hand investigation to prepare an ester using reflux

The ester octyl acetate can be prepared using the following procedure:

  • Transfer about 12 mL of octanol and about 10 mL of acetic acid into a flask.
  • Add several boiling chips and about 1 mL of concentrated sulfuric acid to the flask.
  • Attach a condenser tube to the flask and run water through the outer case of the tube.
  • Heat the flask with a Bunsen burner for 30 minutes, such that the mixture is evaporating and condensing but not escaping.
  • Allow the mixture to cool, then transfer it to a separating funnel.
  • Add water to the separating funnel, swirl and allow to stand.
  • The top, non-aqueous layer that forms in the funnel is octyl acetate.
  • Open the tap of the separating funnel and allow the aqueous layer to run out, leaving the octyl acetate remaining.