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Fischer Esterification

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    5535
  • [ "article:topic", "Author tag:Farmer", "showtoc:no" ]

    Fischer esterification is the esterification of a Carboxylic acid by heating it with an alcohol in the presence of a strong acid as the catalyst.

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    Going from reactants to products simplified

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    Example

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    Mechanism

    The overall reaction is reversible; to drive the reaction to completion, it is necessary to exploit Le Châteliers principle, which can be done either by continuously removing the water formed from the system or by using a large excess of the alcohol.

    1) Protonation of the carbonyl by the acid. The carbonyl is now activated toward nucleophilic attack.

     

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    2) Nucleophilic attack on the carbonyl

     

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    3) Proton transfer

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    4) Water leaves

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    5) Deprotonation

     

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