Monthly Archives: April 2009

Fantastic Fischer

We are again using a very old reaction, mineral acid catalyzed Fischer Esterification, to synthesize new compounds. Last year we synthesized propyl 2-methylbenzoate, propyl 4-methylbenzoate, and propyl 4-methoxycinnamate which have not been characterized by modern spectroscopic methods. This year I replaced 4-methoxycinnamic acid with gallic acid and added 2-propanol to the list of alcohols. Isopropanol […]

The Ancient Art (& Science) of Fermentation

Fermentation of alcoholic beverages is one of the oldest human technologies. Fermentation is also an interesting and educational laboratory exercise that can be done with all levels of students. I even do a fermentation lab with my Language Arts and Sciences summer course! The attraction of fermented beverages for college students does not need a […]

The Gallivanting Grignard

After last year’s “discovery” of the commercially available phenylmagnesiumbromide, I decided to branch out to more interesting reactant than benzophenone. (One redeeming feature of the Grignard synthesis of triphenylmethanol was the pink coloration of the reaction mixture.) This year we used the three positional isomers of methycyclohexanone as the ketone reagent. The resulting methylphenylcyclohexanols are […]