Demonstration of ethyl acetate

Chemicals needed

acetic acid 99% GSATZEND.gif (935 Byte) C     R 10-35    S (1/2)-23-26-45

ethanol GSLEICHT.gif (932 Byte) F    R 11    S (2)-7-16

or alcohol

sulphuric acid 96 %  GSATZEND.gif (935 Byte) C    R 35   S (1/2)-26-30-45

The acetic acid should be as concentrated as possible (glacial acetic acid).

Dangerous substance information

ethyl acetate GSLEICHT.gif (932 Byte) F GSGESUND.gif (476 Byte) Xi    R 11-36-66-67     S (2)-16-26-33

Equipment needed

2 test tubes (1 normal, 1 small)
rubber plugs with hole and discharge tube
stand with double sleeve and clamp
beaker or the like
burner (preferably alcohol)

Test procedure



Esterification is a balance reaction. Through the dehydrating effect of concentrated sulphuric acid and the distilling off of the product the balance is shifted in the desired direction. This procedure is naturally only successful with esters which are markedly more volatie than carboxylic acids and alcohol. For formic acid one may not use them! (Wonder why?)


DSCN0164.JPG (229869 Byte)

Apparatus before the begin of distillation.


Self-derived method modelled after a school experiment.