Question on the rxn of Alcohol and Carboxylic acids.

• wasteofo2
In summary, the formation of esters from the reaction of alcohol with carboxylic acids can be determined by using ethanol's density to determine the molarity of the alcoholic solution. Other factors that may play a role in the reaction include the presence of other ions or molecules dissolved in the solution. The reaction can be achieved in a controlled fashion using standard methods, but the percent yield may vary. The formation of esters can be accomplished in approximately 15 minutes, and they will not immediately evaporate from the solution once formed. It is common for the reaction to run overnight at reflux to ensure complete conversion to product and obtain a high yield.
wasteofo2
I've got some questions about the reaction of Alcohol with carboxylic acids, and the behavior of the esters formed.

1) Is there a way to determine how molar an alcoholic solution is by it's % alcohol by volume?

2) If you have determined how many moles of alcohol there are in a liquid and how many moles of Acid there are, is there anything else to factor into their reaction besides that? If you have 2 moles of Aceitic acid in solution, and add 4 moles of alcohol in the solution, will you invariably end up with 2 moles of esters, or are there other things that could play a role in this reaction, such as other ions or molecules dissolved in solution along with the alcohol and acid?

3) How rapid is the formation of esters in a solution with both alcohol and carboxylic acids?

4) Will esters immediately evaporate out of solution once they are formed?

Thanks alot,
Jacob

Last edited:
1) Is there a way to determine how molar an alcoholic solution is by it's % alcohol by volume?
yes, I would imagine one can use ethanol's density to do so.

2) If you have determined how many moles of alcohol there are in a liquid and how many moles of Acid there are, is there anything else to factor into their reaction besides that? If you have 2 moles of Aceitic acid in solution, and add 4 moles of alcohol in the solution, will you invariably end up with 2 moles of esters, or are there other things that could play a role in this reaction, such as other ions or molecules dissolved in solution along with the alcohol and acid?
well in any chemical reaction you'll want do achieve things in a controlled fashion, and there are standard methods of achieving transesterification. In this case acetic acid will be the limiting agent, but they will react in a one to one ratio. The percent yield will vary, you probably will not obtain the theoretical yield.

3) How rapid is the formation of esters in a solution with both alcohol and carboxylic acids?
I've never actually performed the experiment before, but I imagine it can be done in about 15 minutes.

4) Will esters immediately evaporate out of solution once they are formed?
well, once again there are standard experiments for this particular reaction which I'll need to search for, don't have the time right now. I don't believe that they will evaporate from the mixture, you'll need a particular experimental method to accomplish this. You'll might be able to obtain through vacuum filtration as a solid, at cooled temperatures.

In my experience with Fisher esterification reactions, they usually run overnight at reflux. I've never formed an ester that was volatile enough to evaporate from the solution so I can't say whether that is problematic or if there is a spiffy solution. Often I think the reaction is actually done well before the night is through, but that insures complete conversion to product. You can get nearly quantitative yield from this reaction (last time I did one I got 99.1%)

1. How does the reaction between alcohol and carboxylic acids occur?

The reaction between alcohol and carboxylic acids is an esterification reaction. This means that the alcohol and carboxylic acid combine to form an ester and water. The reaction is typically catalyzed by an acid, such as sulfuric acid, and occurs through a series of steps involving the transfer of a proton and the formation of an intermediate compound.

2. What are the products of the reaction between alcohol and carboxylic acids?

The products of the reaction between alcohol and carboxylic acids are an ester and water. The ester is formed through the condensation of the alcohol and carboxylic acid, and the water is a byproduct of this reaction. The specific ester formed will depend on the type of alcohol and carboxylic acid used in the reaction.

3. What are the factors that affect the rate of the reaction between alcohol and carboxylic acids?

The rate of the reaction between alcohol and carboxylic acids can be affected by several factors, including the concentration of the reactants, the temperature of the reaction, and the presence of a catalyst. Higher concentrations of reactants and higher temperatures tend to increase the rate of the reaction, while the presence of a catalyst can speed up the reaction by lowering the activation energy required.

4. What are some common uses of the reaction between alcohol and carboxylic acids?

The reaction between alcohol and carboxylic acids is commonly used in the production of esters, which have a variety of practical applications. Esters are often used as flavorings and fragrances in food and cosmetics, as solvents in paints and coatings, and as intermediates in the synthesis of pharmaceuticals and other organic compounds.

5. Are there any safety precautions to consider when conducting the reaction between alcohol and carboxylic acids?

As with any chemical reaction, it is important to take proper safety precautions when conducting the reaction between alcohol and carboxylic acids. This may include wearing protective equipment, working in a well-ventilated area, and following proper handling and disposal procedures for the chemicals involved. It is also important to be aware of any potential hazards associated with the specific alcohols and carboxylic acids being used in the reaction.

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