Synthesis of Aspirin

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Practical 2: Organic synthesis – Aspirin Full Report Objectives: 1. To synthesize the drug aspirin. 2. To determine the purity of the synthesized aspirin by using a chemical test. 3. To determine the percentage yield of synthesized aspirin. Introduction: Aspirin is an organic ester (Weiner and Harrison, 2010). Acetylsalicylic acid is the chemical name for aspirin. Aspirin is the most widely used over-the-counter drug in the world. The familiar aspirin tablet contains 5 grains (about 325 milligrams) of acetylsalicylic acid and a small amount of an inert binding material such as starch. (Helmenstine, 2006) Aspirin has the ability to reduce fever (an antipyretic), to reduce pain (an analgesic), and to reduce swelling, soreness, and redness (an anti-inflammatory agent). (Synthesis and Analysis of Aspirin 2005) Aspirin belongs to a group of drugs which is known as salicylates because of the structural relationship to salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is both an aromatic carboxylic acid and a phenol. Salicylic acid can be formed by the hydrolysis reaction of acetylsalicylic acid with water. Aspirin is an ester which formed between acetic acid and the phenol group of salicylic acid. Aspirin can be prepared from salicylic acid and acetic anhydride using the following reaction (Helmenstine, 2006) : Salicylic acid (C7H6O3) + acetic anhydride (C4H6O3) → acetylsalicylic acid (C9H8O4) + acetic acid (C2H4O2) The active ingredient in aspirin, salicylic acid, is a synthetic derivative of a compound, salicin, which occurs naturally in plants, notably the willow tree. Willow are used for relieving pain and fever. (Nick Henderson n.d.) Beside that, salicylic acid, an anti‐inflammatory drug can also help to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer which is common to aspirin. (Paterson & Lawrence 2001) However, salicylic acid is hard to swallow and proved to be

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