Post Lab 8: Fisher Esterification 1. The major chemical reason for not obtaining a 100% yield would be an incomplete reaction. It is possible that the carbocation could have reacted differently than it was supposed to, and the starting material could again be reached if it was reacted with water, or a double bond could be formed if the competing elimination pathway happened to occur. Equilibrium could also have been established, which would cause more reactants and fewer product to be present. A physical reason could be that we lost some product through the various transfers and filtrations, which is very likely to happen. 2a. Looking at the IR spectrum, one could tell the success of the reaction by checking whether or not there was a substantial amount of carboxylic acid present. If there was, then the reaction did not proceed as well as it was supposed to. If there are more carbon to oxygen bonds, then it is probably that the reaction was completed and the product was highly pure. A carbonyl group
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