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Production of esters

Topic: Chemistry
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What is an ester?

An ester is a kind of organic compound together with water is formed when reacting a carboxylic acid with an alcohol. To accelerate these reactions at room temperature are often slow, however, requires that an additional substance is added to accelerate the reaction without being consumed; a catalyst. Many esters have very distinctive odors, which among other things makes them useful for commercial purposes, such as the artificial flavors when you want to give the flavor of the fruit. Esters are also formed naturally in fruits and berries, and contribute obvious even there to taste and smell.

What did we / I of the lab?

I had no great expectations of the lab, but I knew we would create esters. I knew then before what ester was and that they could be fragrant with aromas used in candy, ice cream, etc. Based on this, I thought that we would create fragrant esters, but I had no specifi scents in mind.

Sulfuric Acid

Sulphuric acid is a corrosive strong acid that has the chemical symbol H2SO4. In pure form it is a colorless and viscous liquid. It is used, among other things, to remove water vapor from the air and other gases, but also as a food additive and as a catalyst, which is the use we should have sulfuric acid in this lab. If you are looking for sulfuric acid as a food additive in a product that is designated by E number E513. A security rule that is important to remember when dealing with acid and water is SIV rule, which means that you should pour acid into water and not vice versa, then it will splatter. Although this rule is not intended to be used today so it is very important to have in mind.

Butyric acid

Acid or so-called butyric acid is a carboxylic acid at room temperature is a viscous liquid having a smell of rancid butter. Andledningen it is called right butyric acid is because, among other things, formed when the butter becomes rancid and butyric acid in the form of esters are released. In the production of butyric acid as they ferment sugar or starch, but it can also be produced from the oxidation of butane. The chemical symbol for butyric acid is C3H7COOH and is used among other things as drugs and herbicides, but also in the manufacture of smörsyreestrar, which often have good fragrance and odor and therefore is used in the perfume industry and as a flavoring.

Sodium benzoate

Sodium benzoate has the chemical symbol C7H5O2Na and can "chemistry language" described as benzoic acid sodium salt. There is room temperature a white powder that is soluble in both H2 O and alcohol. Sodium benzoate is used as a preservative and can combine with ascorbic acid to form the carcinogen benzene.


Acetylsalicylic acid, or ASA, as also called, is probably the most widely used drug, with its with analgesic, antipyretic and anti-inflammatory effects. Aspirin is sometimes different with analgesic, antipyretic and anti-inflammatory effects. Aspirin is the drug that: Aspirin, Treo, and Aspirin.

Materials List

Test tube of 3 OH-pen
Test Tube Racks small beaker containing T red (ethanol)
Small beaker containing methanol Sulphuric acid
Butyric acid Aspirin (mortlad painkiller)
Spatula Natruimbensoat
250 ml beaker Water
Tripod Trefotsgaller
Propane burners Matches
Dropper of 4


We began by developing three test tubes and label them with an overhead pen to separate them. We noticed tubes with numbers 1, 2 and 3 and put them in the test tube rack. After that, we continued preparations by filling a 250 ml beaker about halfway with water and set it on a tripod with trefotsgaller on.
When this was done, we added the dropper three drops of butyric acid, and eight drops of methylated spirits to the test tube number 1. In test tube 2, we added then a spatula mortlad painkiller and eight drops of methanol. Test tube 3 was prepared in turn with a spatula of sodium benzoate and eight drops of methylated spirits. Finally, we added even three drops of sulfuric acid to all the tubes.
After this, we placed the three test tubes in the beaker with water and lit a propane torch we asked for. Then we let the water into the cup to boil and thus also heat the test tubes content. When the water started to boil, it got to be above the flame in just over a minute before we turned off the gas. We did, however, test tubes remain in the heated water three minutes before we picked them up and finally we smelled the contents of the test tubes and documented the results.


Test tube 1 Yeast redbull
Test tube 2 Jenkatuggumi / Liniment
Test tube 3 Redbull / Liquor
According to my own views, the result very successful, I had never expected such a change in the smell of substances each one individually and they were reacted with each other and the result was determined.
The contents of the test tube 1, i.e. Butyric acid, denatured alcohol and sulfuric acid, formed a smell that resembles redbull energy drink having a strawberry / pineapple-like odor, but a bit more savory aroma. As if the energy drink had yeast. Teachers Tobias had later indicated that the fragrance would be the same as the pineapple, so completely successful, it was not but we had yet come close to the desired result.
The contents of the test tube 2, acetylsalicylic acid, methanol and sulfuric acid, had created a fragrance that smells almost exactly like chewing gum resort Jenka, as many know. For those who do not know how Jenka smell, you can also describe the scent as in many ointments (such as tiger balm), an ointment that stimulates blood circulation whose smell can be described as very healthy or even strong.
Then we smelled the contents of test tube 3, which consisted of sodium benzoate, white spirit, and sulfuric acid, it was found that the smell was approximately the same as the test tube 1, but it had a more pungent smell, such as in the liquor. I can imagine that it was not the desired flavor, but I have not received any further information about what it was, so I only report our results.

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