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Posted by on Tuesday, July 22, 2008 at 12:48pm.

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?

  • Organic Chemistry - , Tuesday, July 22, 2008 at 1:20pm

    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.

  • Organic Chemistry - , Tuesday, July 22, 2008 at 1:39pm

    Perfect. Thanks!

  • Organic Chemistry - , Tuesday, July 26, 2011 at 12:01pm

    so what are the observations? just colourless bubbles?

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