In this lab activity we did the process of esterification, making a ester from an acid, and a alcohol. The products of this reaction or process are an ester and water. An ester is a chemical made to give aroma or flavoring to a substance. We took different acids like, glacial acetic acid and powered salicylic acid, and combined them with alcohols like, methanol, ethanol, and amyl alcohol. After combining these two substances, we added sulfuric acid as a catalyst, and a piece of Drierite, as an indicator for water after the process of esterification. These different processes made the scents of, nail polish remover, pear, and wintergreen. .
This lab activity allowed me to learn the process of esterification, and the use of this process in industry, and the way that we use them in our everyday lives. We learned that to make the odor flourish in the environment, all you have to do place the ester in some distilled water, and that will cause the ester's aroma to become very pungent. We also learned the process to make solid alcohol heat source. This is used in the catering industry, in the Sterno heating cans. .
Since esters are used in our everyday lives, it is important to know how theya re made, and how they are used. The use of esters is important in the food industry; esters are the ingredients that give the food we eat its flavoring and scent. With out the use of esters, the food and candy we eat would taste like the actual ingredients that they are made up of.