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Thread: NaCl precipitate

  1. #1 NaCl precipitate 
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    Hi everyone,

    I was wondering if anyone could help me with the following problem. We are supposed to make an ester by heating up an alcohol, an organic acid and sulfuric acid together. When the reaction is complete, we add a saturated aqueous solution of table salt to aid in the separation of the organic and inorganic layers. A precipitate of table salt will form when this is done. My question is, why does this occur? Is it maybe because the organic molecules interfere with the water's ability to interact with the salt ions?

    Thanks in advance!


    Last edited by StijnR; April 22nd, 2012 at 06:26 PM.
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  3. #2  
    Forum Professor Zwolver's Avatar
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    Salt and esters are in balance, but salt dissolves WAY better then esters, so they compete, and the salt wins, and the ester is pushed out of solution.


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  4. #3  
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    Yes, I undestand that, however I don't get why salt would precipitate out of the water?
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  5. #4  
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    Due to a limit on solubility. Any more would precipitate.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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  6. #5  
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    However, I'm not adding any more than there already was in the saturated solution?
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  7. #6  
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    It is a saturated solution. The water is holding its limit of salt. Alcohol also disolves into water. The water can only hold so much stuff in solution, so the alcohol goes in and some of the salt has to come out. I'm not sure what the esters and acids are doing.
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  8. #7  
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    Acids create esters out of alcohols.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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  9. #8  
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    Are esters water soluable? In which case it is they which are taking up some of the water's soluablity.
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  10. #9  
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    Esters are soluble in water, but only very slightly. As the aquagenous solution is hinting to. The amount of ethanol actually reacting to an ester is probably very small. So yes, it is taking op solubility.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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