Carboxylic Acids and Esters

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  • Carboxylic Acids
    • -COOH as a functional group
    • -anoic acid
      • CH3COOH = ethanoic acid
    • React like other acids with carbonates to produce CO2
      • Salts formed in theses reactions end in -anoate
      • Carboxylic acids dissolve in H20 to produce acidic solutions
        • Ionise and release H+ ions
          • BUT din't ionise completely so form weak acidic solutions
            • Higher pH than aq solutions of strong acids with the same concentration
    • Fairly common
      • Ethanoic acid can be made by oxidising ethanol
      • Ethanol can also be oxidised using oxidising agents
      • Ethanoic acid dissolves in water to make vinegar which is used for flavouring
      • Citric acid manufactured in large quantities to make fizzy drinks
    • Used to make soaps and esters
      • Soaps and detergents
      • Ethanoic acid isn't usually used as a solvent as it makes the solution acidic
      • Esters
        • Functional group -COO-
        • Formed from an alcohol and a carboxylic acid
          • An acid catalyst is usually used e.g concentrated sulfuric acid
        • Acohol + carboxylic acid -> ester + H20
        • Names end in -oate
        • Alcohol forms first part of ester's name and acid forms second part
          • E.g Ethyl ethanoate
          • Methyl propanoate
        • Pleasant smelling
          • Volatile- ideal for perfumes
          • Many are flammable- potentially dangerous
        • Don't mix well with waters, but do mix well with alcohols and other organic solvents
        • Flavourings and perfumes
          • Some used in ointments
          • Solvents for paint etc.
        • BUT
          • Inhaling fumes from some esters irritates mucus membranes
          • Flammable vapour + naked flame = flash fire
          • Some esters are toxiv, especially in large doses- health problems with synthetic food additives?
          • Some aren't as volatile or toxic as other organic solvents


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