Organic Chemistry lab

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So we did a preparation of t-pentyl Chloride experiment in class the other day using t-pentyl alcohol, HCL, Aqueous sodium Bicarbonate, and calcium chloride as the drying agent.

Little confused on a few of these questions

Why is calcium chloride used as the drying agent instead of sodium or magnesium sulfate?

The drying agent is an anhydrous ionic solid, why do we need to remove it before distillation? (hint- what happens to a hydrate when heated)

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