What's in a medicine

Revision cards for some of the what's in a medicine topic.


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Carboxylic acids and their derivatives

Carboxylic acids:

  • end in -oic acid
  • have functional group -COOH                 



  • Ester                                            RCOOR       
  • Acyl chloride                                RCOCL
  • Amide                                          RCONH^2
  • Acid anhydride                            (RCO)^2O
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Testing for carboxylic acids and phenols

Carboxylic acid:

  • mix with carbonate - produces bubbles(CO^2)
  • test the CO^2 with limewater


  •  mix with iron (III) chloride solution - from pale yellow to purple


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Thin layer chromatography

  • Draw base line with pencill, 1-2cm from bottom of tlc plate
  • Put a spot of the mixture to be tested on the base line
  • Put suitable solvent in a beaker (a small enough amount that the level is below the base line)
  • Put tlc plate in the beaker and cover with watchglass/clingfilm
  • Leave until solvent front is nearly at the top of the plate
  • Take tlc plate out of beaker and leave to dry
  • Use a locating agent such as: ninhydride, iodine or UV light to find the substances in the mixture
  • Work out retention factor- rf=(distance travelled by compound)/(distance travelled by solvent)
  • Compare retenetion factor value to known substances to work out the subsatnces in the mixture
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Heating under reflux

  • Fill pear shaped/round-bottomed flask with reaction mixture
  • Add anti-bumbing granules
  • Attach the condenser (with water in at the bottom and out at the top)
  • Heat(http://www.4college.co.uk/a/wm/prac2.gif)     
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  • Formed when alcohol reacts with an organic acid e.g. carboxylic acid
  • Condesation reaction as 2 small molecules join to make a bigger one
  • Formation of an ester=ESTERIFICATION
  • reagents: strong concentrated acid catalyst
  • Esters have strong, sweet smells
  • Used in glues as solvents and in fragrances

Naming esters:

The first part of the name comes from the alcohol eg. propanol --> propyl

The second part is from the acid eg. benzoic acid --> Benzoate

So the ester from propanol+benzoic acid is Propyl Benzoate

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