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Esters are derived from carboxylic acids. A carboxylic acid contains the –COOH group. In an ester, the hydrogen is this group is replaced by a hydrocarbon group of a kind. The hydrocarbon group can be an alkyl group such as methyl or ethyl or one containing a benzene ring such as phenyl. Low molecular weight esters are commonly used as fragrances and found in essential oils and pheromones. Esters can be obtained from reaction of alkyl halides or acid anhydrides with alcohols or by reaction of salts of carboxylic acid with alkyl halides. ( Byju’s, May 31, 2016)
The small esters have almost the same boiling point as the ketones and aldehydes with the same number of carbon atoms. Aldehydes and ketones are polar molecules. Therefore, they have dipole-dipole interactions and Van der Waals dispersion forces. Their boiling point are not as high as an acid which have the same number of atoms with them because they do not form hydrogen bonds. The small esters are fairly soluble in water but solubility decreases with chain length. The reason of solubility is although esters cannot hydrogen bond with themselves, they can hydrogen bond with water molecules. ( Jim Clark 2004 )
To synthesis esters which give fruits their characteristic flavours.
Water bath, test tubes, droppers
Salicylic acid, methyl alcohol, concentrated sulphuric acid , acetic acid, n-propyl alcohol, octyl alcohol, butyric acid, n-butyl alcohol
Acetic acid Octyl alcohol n-octyl acetate Orange
Butyric acid Ethyl ethyl butyrate Strawberry
Odour/smell of esters formed in reactions between(Joseph Hiltner 2011):
Salicylic acid and Methyl Alcohol : Wintergreen Odour
Acetic acid and Octyl Alcohol : Orange Odour
Butyric Acid and Ethyl Alcohol : Strawberry Odour
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