Determining The Effect Of Catalysts On The Purity Of Aspirin

The purpose of our experiment was to determine if the addition of a catalyst when making aspirin would affect its purity. We used hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, and glacial acetic acid as catalysts and we also had a control group of no catalyst. By synthesizing acetic anhydride and salicylic acid, we were able to produce aspirin. This aspirin was then put through another process called recrystallization, which helps to further purify the aspirin. We then found the melting temperature of our prepared aspirin by using a Mel-Temp apparatus and compared the melting range to the accepted value for aspirin, which is 135°-136°C. The majority of our trials, however, had melting ranges around 160°C, which is the melting point of salicylic acid. Due to impurities in our trials, we could not conclude anything.

Research Done By:

Erika Eraqi
Center Line High School

Brenna McNally
Fraser High School