aspirin synthesis

Essay by gine0506University, Bachelor'sA-, November 2014

download word file, 7 pages 0.0


To be introduced to the concept of organic synthesis.

To synthesize a sample of acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin) from salicylic acid.

To describe the differences between the properties of acetylsalicylic acid and salicylic acid by a simple chemical test.

To determine the purity of aspirin synthesized.

To compare the quality of the synthesized aspirin with commercial aspirin and salicylic acid.

Measure the melting temperature of sample of aspirin synthesized and compares it with the melting temperature of commercial aspirin.

Determine the percent yield of sample of aspirin synthesized.


Organic synthesis is a process that constructs or prepares a desired organic compound from commercially available materials (Esobel, 2011). Aspirin is an organic ester (Weiner and Harrison, 2010). Acetylsalicylic acid is the chemical name for aspirin. Aspirin is the most widely used over-the-counter drug in the world (Helmenstine, 2006).The familiar aspirin tablet contains 5 grains ( about 325 milligrams) of acetylsalicylic acid and a small amount of an inert binding material such as starch (Hein, Peisen and Ritchey, 2012).

Aspirin is often used in medical fields as it can be used to relieve pain, reduce swelling and redness associated with inflammation, and reduce fever (Bettelheim and Landesberg, 2013). Aspirin belongs to a group of drugs which is known as salicylates because of the structural relationship to salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is both an aromatic carboxylic acid and a phenol. Aspirin is an ester which formed between acetic acid and the phenol group of salicylic acid (Hein, Peisen and Ritchey, 2012). Aspirin can be prepared from salicylic acid and acetic anhydride using the following reaction (Helmenstine, 2006):

Salicylic acid (C7H6O3) + acetic anhydride (C4H6O3) → acetylsalicylic acid (C9H8O4) + acetic acid (C2H4O2)

The preparation of aspirin uses salicylic acid, acetic anhydride and sulfuric acid, acts as a catalyst...