Recrystallization Lab Report: Choosing a Suitable Solvent

Usually, most organic compounds that have been synthesized or extracted from natural sources have a lot of impurities. These impurities could be both simple dust and undesired side products of chemical reactions. Quite often the process of removal of the impurities represents a serious economic problem for chemistry if textbooks with an Economic Principles homework help are to be trusted. Chemists need pure substances for their studies of the matter. Also, for other fields, for example, medicine and pharmaceutics, the purity of medications is a vital and indispensable characteristic. One of the most useful and inexpensive methods for purifying organic compounds is recrystallization. In its basis lies the chemical principle according to which the solubility of an organic substance in a given solvent increases provided the solvent is being heated. Therefore, we can dissolve an impure organic solid in a heated solvent, and then cool the solution to room temperature or below, and this will give us the pure recrystallized solid. On lab work during the university course of organic chemistry students often get a recrystallization lab report example with the task to isolate and purify aspirin (which is acetylsalicylic acid) from a blend of sand, sugar, and acetylsalicylic acid. Here we show you the basic laboratory instructions one may need to choose an appropriate solvent for aspirin.

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Certainly, on your experimental scheme for purification of acetylsalicylic acid the choice of solvent is marked as a crucial step before other separation-and-purification stages. Well, it is actually crucial for almost any chemistry thesis methodology. The essential characteristic of your suitable solvent is that the compound chosen for purification must be significantly more soluble in the hot solvent than in the cool solvent. Moreover, all impurities in a mixture should be either highly dissoluble in the cool solvent or practically insoluble in the solvent at all temperatures. Thus, the sand is very suitable for lab work, because it is insoluble in all solvents that could be possibly used for aspirin purification – and one does not need a microeconomics homework help to understand that. The specific solubility of sugar in different solvents also makes it convenient for the experiment with aspirin recrystallization.

The experimental procedure of a recrystallization lab report for acetylsalicylic acid solvent selection is as follows:

    • 1) take four dry, clean 10-cm test tubes and label them with the numbers 1…4. Using plastic weighing dishes, weigh carefully and put into each test tube 0,1 g of acetylsalicylic acid. Even though you will not record the sample masses in any data table, take each sample with strict precision to ±0,001 g.
    • 2) using graduated cylinder, add 3 ml of distilled water to tube #1, then 3 ml of ethanol to test tube #2. Rinse the cylinder with distilled water – then you could use a paper towel to dry it. Add 3 ml of 2-propanol to tube #3. Again, rinse and dry the cylinder, and then add 3 ml of toluene to tube #4. Each tube should be grasped between your thumb and forefinger and agitated at least for three minutes. After agitation is completed, write down the results of the solubility test – there is no necessity in specific custom paper writing, just use a sheet of paper and simple marks like ‘+’ for representing the solute which is totally dissolved and ‘-‘ for representing the solute in which undissolved particles remained.
  • 3) take the two test tubes in which some solid remained undissolved and put them into a boiling water-bath (make the bath by adding 180 ml of water to 250-ml beaker and heating it with several boiling chips). Keep test tube in the bath for 5 minutes, agitating them several times during the heating. Remember, that toluene, 2-propanol and ethanol are flammable, so avoid keeping them near open flames. After the heating, observe the tubes and write down the readings, using the + and – symbols. Since you may need the written data for your report, it is possible to employ a cheap essay writing service for chemistry in order to compose your paper properly.
  • 4) with the results obtained you should be certainly able to choose one or two solvents that are suitable for separation and purification of acetylsalicylic acid. Mark with ‘x’ all suitable solvents in your data table. Use a special container for the disposal of toluene; pour out in sink other used liquids such as 2-propanol and ethanol.
  • 5) at the last stage you need to determine the solubility of sugar, using as the sample solvents those you have identified in the previous steps as suitable. Put 0,1 g of sugar into dry and clean 10-cm test tubes, and then add in each tube 3 ml of the appropriate solvent – it is important for a recrystallization lab report to keep the solvents cold. Agitate each tube several times and record the result, using the + and – marks. Your aim is to find the solvent, in which the sugar can dissolve at a low or room temperature.

Hence, doing these simple steps the student will be able to identify a single solvent, that has suitable solubility characteristics toward both acetylsalicylic acid and sugar. Ask your teacher to assist you on the next step, where you will need to estimate the proper amount of solvent. You must use enough solvent so that the sample can dissolve while being heated; although, if you use too much solvent, the solution does not become saturated on cooling, and therefore recrystallization fails. Also, consult with the teacher regarding the recrystallization lab report format – either MLA or an annotated bibliography format may be required for reporting about the experiment.

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