NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ918129
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-May
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 7
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Synthesis of N,N-Diethyl-3-Methylbenzamide (DEET): Two Ways to the Same Goal
Habeck, Jean Christophe; Diop, Lamine; Dickman, Michael
Journal of Chemical Education, v87 n5 p528-529 May 2010
The laboratory synthesis of N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide (DEET) is an effective way to combine organic chemistry teaching with a student's day-to-day life outside the classroom. Interest in DEET as a mosquito repellent has been heightened because of the rise of the West Nile virus across much of North America (1). To take advantage of the increased awareness of DEET, the authors took another look at its preparation, which commonly is carried out by reacting carboxylic acid with thionyl chloride (SOCl[subscript 2]) followed by aqueous condensation with an amine to give the amide. The goal was to develop a different route to DEET to give beginner chemistry students a deeper appreciation of the flexibility of organic chemistry synthesis. It was found that m-toluic acid is converted easily and quickly in two different ways to the product DEET, thereby enabling students to observe firsthand that a given compound can be transformed in a variety of ways to the same final product. (Contains 1 table and 2 schemes.)
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
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A