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Hi. Couple days ago i tried to make styrene from 1-phenylethanol. I heated phenylethanol to 100 °C and than added 2 equivalents of 95% sulfuric acid. Only thing i got was black dense mud in manner of minutes. Can this reaction be done by using sulfuric or meybe phosphoric acid? And if answer is yes, what conditions would you suggest?

Why do you want to make something that you can easily buy?

Why did you give 2 moles of H2SO4 for 1 mole of C6H5-CH2-CH2OH ?

Even a few drops of H2SO4 can completely carbonize a piece of paper.

Concentrated H2SO4 dehydrates phenylethanol not only to styrene, but to pure carbon overall.

It is just too strong for this reaction.

Where is fun in buying that? I am just a student and i would like to try some basic reactions like this and explore science on my own. I am in research group surrounded by people using "fancy" chemicals worth kidney, yet i am unable to do simple dehydration.

Orcio_Dojek: I read in literature it is needed excess of acid.


When I need conditions for a reaction, I usually use SciFinder.  For relatively simple reactions I consult Tietze and Eicher's book, or sometimes Organic Syntheses.

Do you think that the acid acts catalytically or stoichiometrically in this reaction?


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