Explain esterification reaction with the help of a chemical equation. Describe an activity to show esterification.
The reaction of carboxylic acid with alcohol forms an ester. For example, ethanol reacts with ethanoic acid in the presence of an acid catalyst to give sweet smelling substance, i.e. an ester which in this case will be ethylethanoate.
CH3-COOH + CH3-CH2-OH →Acid CH3-COO-CH2-CH3 + H2O
Ethanoic acid Ethanol Ethyl ethanoate (Ester)
This reaction is known as esterification reaction.
The activity to show the formation of an ester is as follows:
1. Take 1 ml of ethanol (absolute alcohol) + 1 ml of glacial acetic acid in a boiling tube and mix the contents well.
2. Add few drops of concentrated H2SO4 to it.
3. Warm the contents on a water bath for a few minutes (at least 5 minutes).
4. Now pour the solution in a beaker containing 20-50 ml of water.
5. You will observe a sweet-fruity smell indicating the formation of an ester.