Explain the mechanism of esterification
Carboxylic acid reacts with alcohols in the presence of mineral acid as a catalyst and forms esters. This reaction is called esterification.
Consider the following reaction for the preparation of ethyl acetate from ethanoic acid.
The mechanism involved in the above esterification reaction can be explained as follows:
Protonation of the –OH group of the acid enhances the nucleophilic attack by alcohol to give the ester.
Step 1: Protonation of carboxylic acid