Monthly Archives: December 2012

A Dibromination Dibromance Part I

This year we performed a dihalogenation reaction that is featured in the reactions of alkenes: a topicĀ  typically covered during first semester Organic Chemistry. This reaction has been a popular undergraduate experiment for decades. I did quite a bit of background research in setting this one up. The two most popular substrates are trans-cinnamic acid […]

Watered Down Dehydration

We are continuing our investigation of the acid catalyzed dehydration of 2-methyl-1-cyclohexanol. This year we compared diluted phosphoric acid to the concentrated phosphoric acid (48% w/w aqueous solution) that we have been routinely using. The procedure calls for 11.5 grams of alcohol and 2.5 mL of concentration H3PO4 which may be a large excess of […]

E2 Brutus? Part IV

We did not remove the solvent because the amount of liquid product would have been too small to do analyses like RI and IR. Instead, the students performed a Br2 qualitative test with the upper (organic) phase. This was a little problematic as well. The students were instructed to count how many drops it took […]