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ester lab - Morgan Bailey Mb33295 Fischer Esterification...

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Morgan Bailey Mb33295 Fischer Esterification Discussion We performed a Fischer Esterification in this laboratory period, which is one of the most well known reactions in organic chemistry. This consisted of taking some benzoic acid and adding methanol which produced methyl benzoate. This experiment makes use of Le Chatelier’s principle, which shows the effect of a change on chemical equilibrium. The Fischer Esterification, named after the Nobel Laureate Emil Fischer, involves directly converting an alcohol and carboxylic acid to an ester using a catalytic amount of sulfuric acid. The sulfuric acid promotes the addition of the not so strong alcohol which is a nucleophile to the carbon-oxygen double bond of the carboxylic acid by adding a proton to the oxygen. This experiment demonstrates Le Chatelier’s principle in the way that the methanol is used as the solvent because it is not expensive and volatile, which forces the equilibrium away from the left and to the right side, therefore increasing substantially the yield of the ester in the product.
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