Synthesis of Salicylic Acid Lab Report

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Introduction The purpose of the experiment is to convert oil of wintergreen into salicylic acid by a base-catalyzed hydrolysis reaction. Salicylic acid is a white, crystalline compound. It is commonly used for the removal of warts from the skin. Methyl salicylate (oil of wintergreen) and acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin) are the derivatives of salicylic acid. Methyl salicylate, which making minty flavor in candies, is a major constituent of oil of wintergreen. It makes up over 90% of the oil from the wintergreen plant. Moreover, methyl salicylate has two functional groups that are important in this experiment; one is the ester group and the other is the phenol group. The ester group of methyl salicylate can be converted into a carboxylic acid by base-promoted hydrolysis. In this experiment, the salicylic acid is insoluble in cold water and can be collected by vacuum filtration. Procedure As the lab, synthesis of salicylic acid, had done, micro-scale was used. To begin, 3.5mL of water was poured into a 10 mL round-bottomed flask. And 0.48 g of sodium hydroxide was added to the flask. After the solid was dissolved, 230mg of methyl salicylate was added using a graduated pipet to the NaOH solution. A white solid was soon formed. And a boiling stone had been placed in the flask to prevent bumping of the solution when it was heated. After grease was lightly coated to the lower ground glass joint of the condenser, a water-cooled reflux condenser had been attached. The reflux apparatus was place in the aluminum block. The block had been heated around 15 minutes which was to 120-130°C As the mixture was warmed, the white solid that formed was dissolved. The apparatus was lifted out of the aluminum block after a period of heating. Also, the flask was placed under the tap water to cool down the mixture to room temperature. Carefully 0.5mL increments of 3M sulfuric acid was

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