Percent Yield of Isopentyl Acetate by Esterification of Acetic Acid with Isopentyl Alcohol

In the following experiment, we observed and recorded the effects of varying two factors in the synthesis of isopentyl acetate. Isopentyl acetate is an ester formed by a reaction of isopentyl alcohol and acetic acid. It is a clear, colorless liquid and is commonly used to create an artificial banana or pear fragrance. We experimented with four combinations of variant factors to find which conditions skewed this two-way reaction most favorably and increased the percent yield most drastically. We chose to vary the limiting reactant and the amount of sulfuric acid in each trial. According to our data, the limiting reactant had the greatest effect and limiting the acetic acid, or using excess isopentyl alcohol, produced a drastically larger yield. The amount of sulfuric acid caused negligible change in the yield and our data is insufficient to draw any conclusions based on this experiment. Therefore, we found that the most favorable yield in the synthesis of isopentyl acetate is obtained by limiting the acetic acid.

Research Done By:

David Burkett

Jaime Crown