posted by chemstudent on .
isopentyl alcohol is reacted with acetic acid to make isopentyl acetate through Fischer esterification. Sulfuric acid is used to assist the reaction.
After the reaction, the solution is washed with sodium bicarbonate.
What reactions take place during this washing? What gas is produced? How does this separate unreacted acetic acid and sulfuric acid into a separate aqueous layer?
NaHCO3 reacts with the excess acetic acid to form CO2 gas (+H2O and sodium acetate). All of the acetic acid and H2SO4 are neutralized with the NaHCO3, forming Na2SO4 and NaC2H3O2, both of which are soluble in the water layer. Isopentyl acetate is only slightly soluble in water.
so what are the observations? just colourless bubbles?