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[*] posted on 20-7-2010 at 23:38
Organic Chemistry experiments with easy available chemicals


I would like to do some organic chemistry experiments with easily available chemicals, can you write some of them? I know that I don't understand organic chemistry a lot, but the good way of learning it is by experiments too :)
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Taoiseach
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[*] posted on 20-7-2010 at 23:49


-make acetamide from ethyl acetate & ammonia (this is one of the best procedures I've seen so far, unfortunately its in German but easily translated: http://illumina-chemie.de/acetamid-t2333.html)

-make p-benzoqzuinone from paracetamol (search the forums there's a thread on it)

-distill benzene from sodium benzoate & NaOH

-turn benzene in all sorts of interesting stuff :) phenol, nitrobenzene, aniline...
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[*] posted on 21-7-2010 at 00:27


Quote: Originally posted by Taoiseach  
-make acetamide from ethyl acetate & ammonia (this is one of the best procedures I've seen so far, unfortunately its in German but easily translated: http://illumina-chemie.de/acetamid-t2333.html)

-make p-benzoqzuinone from paracetamol (search the forums there's a thread on it)

-distill benzene from sodium benzoate & NaOH

-turn benzene in all sorts of interesting stuff :) phenol, nitrobenzene, aniline...


Thanks for the suggestions, by the way, which temperature is required for distilling benzene from Ca(OH)2 and sodium benzoate? Is it under 100°C?
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[*] posted on 21-7-2010 at 00:31


Considering you need to ask for a list of experiments, I think you should leave the benzene alone. Instead, acidify the Sodium benzoate to get Benzoic acid, which can then be esterified with methanol to form "oil of wintergreen", a pleasant smelling liquid. This can further be nitrated in the 3-position to get methyl 3-nitrobenzoate, and the nitro group can be reduced to give you an amino functionality. If you have access to a nitrite compound, diazotisation is the way forward, and many compounds may be formed from the diazonium salt. It might be nice to make a slightly larger quantity of the methyl 3-aminobenzoate, and then you'd have enough material to do several different sandmeyer reactions, yielding chloro, bromo, iodo, hydroxy derivatives, for example.
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[*] posted on 21-7-2010 at 00:57


The principal constituent of oil of wintergreen is methyl salicylate, not methyl benzoate. However, the natural oil would not be a completely pure substance, and may contain small amounts of isomers and of other esters.
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[*] posted on 21-7-2010 at 10:39


Thanks John, I knew I made a mistake somewhere...
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[*] posted on 21-7-2010 at 16:04


Easily available where?

In Afghanistan, opium is easily available. A fun little project might be extracting the morphine therein, and converting it to heroin.

Not giving your birthdate, I can understand. Could lead to ID theft.

Not specifying country of origin, well, that's kind of a handicap.

Easy availability is a local matter.
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[*] posted on 21-7-2010 at 20:51


Couldnt got with caffine or piperine ya just ha to jump right into heroin synthesis for the guy that dont know O-chem from O-shit right?




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[*] posted on 23-7-2010 at 10:26


I would recommend purchasing some cheap aspirin tablets as some interesting syntheses can be conducted from this common household medication. Grind the tablets into a fine powder and mix with boiling isopropyl alcohol and then filter, leaving behind the binder. Upon concentrating this solution, crystals of acetylsalicylic acid will crystallize. Filter these and dry them on a filter paper. The remaining liquid can be concentrated to yield more product. Salicylic acid can be produced be refluxing the purified acetylsalicylic acid with 10% sulfuric acid for about 6 hours. The mixture is allowed to cool and the crystalline salicylic acid filtered, the product when I ran it had to correct melting point of salicylic acid which is 159 C. Methyl salicylate can be synthesized by refluxing the salicylic acid with an excess of methanol using a sulfuric acid catalyst. Details for these experiments can be found in many organic chemistry lab books. An organic lab kit is essential and makes everything easier. Another experiment is you have a good distillation setup and loads of time is the nitration of toluene and the separation of the para and ortho nitrotoluenes via fractional distillation and crystallization. The first distillation needs to be conducted under vacuum for safety incase any dinitrotoluene is formed since this compound is somewhat explosive.

Good luck with your experiments.




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[*] posted on 25-7-2010 at 13:54


Well, some chemicals are really a lot easier to make/buy than the other ones. I am not interested in doing illegal things like drugs anyway. Thanks for the suggestions and if someone has some more, please post :)
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[*] posted on 25-7-2010 at 16:35


Quote:
Salicylic acid can be produced be refluxing the purified acetylsalicylic acid with 10% sulfuric acid for about 6 hours


Base will hydrolyze it faster. Ten minutes in hot concentrated NaOH solution. Even boiling saturated Na2CO3 solution will do it in an hour or two. Granted you then have to acidify if you want the free acid, but crashing out the relatively insoluble salicylic acid by adding HCl gives you an easy way to separate it from all the other stuff left in solution (NaCl, acetic acid and so on).
It makes nice colored compounds with some cations, like Fe++...
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[*] posted on 25-7-2010 at 16:37


I'm sure High Juice, the fruit cordial, was one of the drinks taken off the supermarket shelves for reformulation after they realized the benzoate preservative was converting to benzene within the drink. Go E-Numbers!



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