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ERIC Number: EJ1032473
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Jun
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 33
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Esterification Reaction Utilizing Sense of Smell and Eyesight for Conversion and Catalyst Recovery Monitoring
Janssens, Nikki; Wee, Lik H.; Martens, Johan A.
Journal of Chemical Education, v91 n6 p876-879 Jun 2014
The esterification reaction of salicylic acid with ethanol is performed in presence of dissolved 12-tungstophosphoric Brønsted-Lowry acid catalyst, a Keggin-type polyoxometalate (POM). The monitoring of the reaction with smell and the recovery of the catalyst with sight is presented. Formation of the sweet-scented ester is apparent from the smell. After the reaction, the dissolved POM catalyst is recovered via encapsulation into a metal-organic framework (MOF) made of copper nitrate and benzene-1,3,5-tricarboxylic acid (BTC), Cu[subscript 3](BTC)[subscript 2] (also called HKUST-1). The encapsulation causes a color change from a greenish liquid to a suspension of blue catalyst-containing particles. The catalyst can be recovered by filtration, dissolved in a new batch of reactants, and reused. The simplicity of this reaction and the accessibility of the catalytic chemistry to human senses, avoiding the need of analytical tools, make this reaction suitable for a classroom demonstration of catalysis for educational purposes.
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A