Sythesizing Isopentyl Acetate by the Fischer Esterification

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Abstract:
The purpose of this experiment was to synthesize isopentyl acetate via an esterification reaction between acetic acid and isopentyl alcohol, using concentrated sulfuric acid as a catalyst. The product was washed with sodium hydrogen carbonate, as well as with water, then dried with anhydrous sodium sulfate. The product was then distilled using a Hickman still and characterized using infrared spectroscopy. The percent yield of isopentyl acetate was 61.52%. This may have been low due to not all of the condensed product being removed from the Hickman still, some product being lost during transfer of the product from the reaction tube into the Hickman still, or the loss of some product due to evaporation during distillation. Infrared spectrum analysis of the product indicated that the product was isopentyl acetate, as expected, and thus that the reaction was successful. Preparing Isopentyl Acetate by the Fischer Esterification

Introduction: The purpose of this experiment is to synthesize isopentyl acetate via an esterification reaction between acetic acid and isopentyl alcohol, using concentrated sulfuric acid as a catalyst. The product will be washed, distilled, then characterized using infrared spectroscopy. Materials Used:

Paraffin sand bath
test tube clamp
50-mL Erlenmeyer flask Hickman still
cork Pasteur pipettes with bent ends
microspatula Kim-wipes
sand bath vial
Pasteur pipettes
Rubber bulbs

Procedure:
Part 1 – Refluxing Reaction Mixture
Weigh a reaction tube while it is in a 50-mL beaker. Record the mass of the beaker and the tube. Place 0.809 g isopentyl alcohol in a test tube using a Pasteur pipette. Then, add 2 mL acetic acid and 3 drops concentrated sulfuric acid to the tube. Add a boiling chip, then wrap a wet Kim-wipe around the top of the test tube. Place the tube in a sand bath on a setting of 2-3. Heat to boiling, then reflux solution for 1 hour. Part 2 – Separating and Washing Product Layer

Remove the test tube from the...
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