Esterification Reaction between Alcohol and Carboxylic Acid

Our Objective

To study the Esterification reaction between alcohol and carboxylic acid

The Theory

Esterification is the interaction of an organic acid (RCOOH) with an alcohol (ROH) to produce an ester (RCOOR) and water, or a chemical reaction that has at least one ester product.

When alcohol and a carboxylic acid undergo esterification, an ester is formed. Carboxylic acid reacts with alcohols in the presence of concentrated H2SO4 to form esters, resulting in the loss of water molecules. When ethanoic acid reacts with ethanol, for example, the ethyl ethanoate ester is formed. Because it is fruity, the aroma of ester differs from that of carboxylic acid and alcohol. 

Chemical Reaction  

COOH+R’OH    →    RCOOR'+H2

What is esterification? 

A compound is generated when primary alcohol is reacted with a carboxylic acid in the presence of sulphuric acid. This substance has a sweet smell. Ester is the name given to the resulting chemical. The esterification process is the chemical reaction that occurs during the creation of the ester. 


Chemical Reaction


Properties of Ester

  1. The carboxylic acid that participates in the esterification reaction is the source of an ester's name.
  2. They have a nice odour.
  3. In the perfume and food industries, they're used extensively. Oils and fats contain esters.
  4. Oils and fats contain esters 

Mechanism of  Esterification Reaction 

Step 1: The formation of cation.

Step 2: Delocalized Carbocation 

Step 3: Transfer of proton 

Step 4: Formation of pi-Bond 

Step 5: Ester formation 


Learning Outcomes

  1. The student will be able to attain good lab skills. 
  2. The students will be able to understand the concept of esterification 
  3. They will be good enough to handle conc. Acids in laboratory.