Esterification Reaction between Alcohol and Carboxylic Acid


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.

Chemical Reaction:


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.



Properties of Ester

  • The carboxylic acid that participates in the esterification reaction is the source of an ester's name.
  • They have a fruity odour.
  • In the perfume and food industries, they're used extensively.
  • 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 Outcome

  • The student will be able to attain good lab skills.
  • The students will be able to understand the concept of esterification.
  • Students will be able to understand the Mechanism of Esterification Reaction.
  • Students will be good enough to handle conc. Acids in laboratory.