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Topic: Esterification=nutralization? ..? ...!  (Read 4717 times)

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Offline 2810713

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Esterification=nutralization? ..? ...!
« on: March 07, 2005, 07:52:47 AM »
 Hi, :)

Consider the following reaction-

 RCO-OH + H-OR'
 ----------> RCOOR'  + H-OH

In the above reaction an acid reacts with a base to form salt[ ester] and water, thus it appears to be a nutralization reaction.
But here, the OH- of water is given by acid[!] and the H+ by the base !!! Now, can we call this a nutralization reaction ?
 One of my friends says that as there is no specification about the donor of H+  & OH- in the definition of a nutralization reaction , we should call this as a nutralization reaction!
But, in my opinion , the mechanism of this reaction is also important! As the mechanism of esterification deffers from
that of nutralization reactions, their characteristics differ and thus we can't classify them in a single group.
 One of my friends had a notion that here, ROH acts as an acid and RCOOH as a base.But how can they suddenly change their roles? Please help...

thanx

hrushikesh

Offline Donaldson Tan

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Re:Esterification=nutralization? ..? ...!
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2005, 10:02:36 AM »
neutralisation specifically refer to:
H+ + OH- -> H2O

other form of acid-base reactions are just called lewis/bronsted acid-base reactions.

you should examine the mechanism of esterification before deciding if it's actually an acid-base reaction. Please refer to http://www.chemguide.co.uk/physical/catalysis/esterify.html for more information.
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Re:Esterification=nutralization? ..? ...!
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2005, 11:24:37 AM »
Also note that the typical reaction conditions for this type of esterification (called a Fisher Esterification) include at least a catalytic amount of a strong acid (e.g. sulfuric acid).  There is never an appreciable amount of OH- in solution.

Offline 2810713

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Re:Esterification=nutralization? ..? ...!
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2005, 11:41:11 PM »
Thanks for the responses.Thnx for the link, it was really good!
 :)
But, if  nutralization is simply the formation of HOH then should we call this as nutralization or redefine nutralization?
Hmmm...

hrushikesh

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