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Addition of alkali before extraction

  1. May 24, 2007 #1
    This is just a general question that I hope someone can answer.
    Why do we add alkali before extraction rather than afterwards???
    This is in the experiment I recently did, which was the preparation of p-Toluidine?
    This was my main thought... that it helps to saturate the solution so that when ether is added the two layers form?

    Any help on this question would be really helpful, just having a little bit of trouble finding something on the net.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 25, 2007 #2


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    I assume that the pH of the crude material was acidic? Toluidine is an aromatic base. What will happen at acidic pH to this? In this form (acidic solution) do you think that it would be soluble in ether or hexane?
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