Esterification Lab Discussion and ConclusionIn this lab, we prepared isobutyl-propionate from propionic acid and 2-methyl-1-propanol. Our main goal in this lab was to determine the purity of the product and the mole ratio of ester to alcohol, as well as the equilibrium constant, using the techniques of H NMR spectroscopy and Gas Chromatography. In this particular esterification reaction, sulfuric acid is used in trace amounts in order to donate a proton to the carbonyl oxygen of propionic acid. This is the first step of the reaction. This allows for the hydroxyl oxygen from the alcohol to attack the acid at the carbonyl position, creating a tetrahedral intermediate. A hydroxyl group is then protonated and leaves as water, allowing the other hydroxyl group to form a double bond and a positive charge on oxygen, at which time water takes the hydrogen from the oxygen and the ester product is left, as well as water.
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