Aspirin Synthesis

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Introduction: The purpose of this lab was to learn how to use salicylic acid to make aspirin. Aspirin is the most widely used over-the-counter drug in the world. The average tablet contains about 325 milligrams of acetylsalicylic acid with an inert binding material such as starch. Aspirin is used to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and lower fever. Aspirin originally was derived by boiling the bark of the white willow tree. Although the salicin in willow bark has analgesic properties, purified salicylic acid was bitter and irritating when taken orally. Salicylic acid was neutralized with sodium to produce sodium salicylate, which was better-tasting but still irritated the stomach. Salicylic acid could be modified to produce phenylsalicylate, which was better tasting and less irritating, but released the toxic substance phenol when metabolized. Felix Hoffman and Arthur Eichengrün first synthesized the active ingredient in aspirin, acetylsalicylic acid, in 1893

Experimental:
- Placed 2.06g of salicylic acid in Erlenmeyer flask
- Added 5ml of acetic anhydride to Erlenmeyer flask via 10ml beaker
- Added 5 drops of hydrochloric acid to Erlenmeyer flask via dropper
- Dissolved the salicylic acid by swishing the solution around in a clockwise manner
- The solution looked white in color, the solution was very watery
- Set up a burner inside the hood to heat up the solution
- Used clamps to hold solution over heated water until the solution was completely dissolved
- As the solution was in the heated water bath the color changed from white to clear when the water temperature was at 75 degrees C
- Set up Buchner funnel with side arm flask for filtration
- Pulled the solution out of the heat bath after about 10 minutes, the temperature reached 82degrees C
- Placed solution on a cork ring to cool
- Solution remained clear
- I put the solution in an ice bath and scratched the walls of the flask with a glass rod
- Noticed that in the ice bath the solution

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