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9.3 The acidic environment: 5. Esterification

Syllabus reference (October 2002 version)
5. Esterification is a naturally occurring process which can be performed in the laboratory
Students learn to: Students:
Extract from Chemistry Stage 6 Syllabus (Amended October 2002). © Board of Studies, NSW.
[Edit: 11Jun10]

Background: Living things store much of their energy as esters, known as fats or oils. Many of the flavours and odours of fruits are esters. The formation and breakdown of esters are reactions that occur frequently in living things.

describe the differences between the alkanol and alkanoic acid functional groups in carbon compounds

Background

A functional group is an atom or group of atoms that reacts in a characteristic way in different carbon compounds.

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explain the difference in melting point and boiling point caused by straight-chained alkanoic acid and straight-chained primary alkanol structures

Background

Straight-chained structures do not have any branches on the hydrocarbon chain.
A primary alkanol has the -OH group at the end of the hydrocarbon chain.

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identify data, plan, select equipment and perform a first-hand investigation to prepare an ester using reflux

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identify esterification as the reaction between an acid and an alkanol and describe, using equations, examples of esterification

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identify the IUPAC nomenclature for describing the  esters produced by reactions of straight-chained alkanoic acids from C1 to C8 and straight-chained primary alkanols from C1 to C8

The naming of esters follows a straight forward pattern using IUPAC nomenclature.

The table below will give you a start. Copy it and attempt to complete it.

Alkanol Alkanoic acids
methanoic acid ethanoic acid propanoic acid butanoic acid pentanoic acid hexanoic acid heptanoic acid octanoic acid
methanol methyl methanoate methyl ethanoate methyl propanoate   methyl pentanoate     methyl octanoate
ethanol ethyl methanoate              
propanol propyl methanoate              
butanol butyl methanoate   butyl propanoate          
pentanol                
hexanol
    hexyl propanoate          
heptanol                
octanol       octyl butanoate       octyl octanoate

There is no need to learn all the ester names. Just remember the naming pattern you used.

Did you note that the alkanol always forms the first part of the ester's name having its ending changed from '...anol' to '...yl' and the alkanoic acid forms the second part of the ester's IUPAC name with its ending changing from '...oic acid' to '... oate'?

naming Alkanols (external website)AUS-e-TUTE

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describe the purpose of using acid in esterification for catalysis

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explain the need for refluxing during esterification

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process information from secondary sources to identify and describe the uses of esters as flavours and perfumes in processed foods and cosmetics

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outline some examples of the occurrence, production and uses of esters

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