This page explains what esters are and looks at their simple physical properties such as solubility and boiling points.

Esters are derived from carboxylic acids. (ii) Esters are colourless and exist in liquid state at room temperature. It includes an introduction to more complicated naturally-occurring esters like animal and vegetable fats and oils. Hydrolysis of esters: Alcohol and acid are produced from the hydrolysis of ester, this reaction reverse to ester formation, Hydrolysis may take place by the use of dilute mineral acids as a catalyst and is called acid hydrolysis, Dilute mineral acid (H +) is used to prevent the reversible reaction. A side product of the saponification reaction is an A carboxylic acid contains the -COOH group, and in an ester the hydrogen in this group is replaced by a hydrocarbon group.

General Physical Properties of EstersSome main features of the physical properties of esters are listed below:(i) Esters are neutral(do not change colour of litmus, phenolphthalein, methyl orange or any other acid-base indicator) compounds. Because ester molecules can engage in hydrogen bonding with water molecules, however, esters of low molar mass are somewhat soluble in water.

Borderline solubility occurs in those molecules that have three to five carbon atoms. This could be an alkyl group like methyl or ethyl, or one containing a benzene ring such as a phenyl or benzyl group. CHEMICAL PROPERTIES OF ESTERS SAPONIFICATION OF ESTERS REDUCTION OF ESTERS When esters are heated with aqueous solutions of strong bases such as NaOH and KOH, salts of carboxylic acids are produced which are known as soaps.

Chemical properties.

Their flexibility and low polarity is manifested in their physical properties; they tend to be less rigid (lower melting point) and more volatile (lower boiling point) than the corresponding amides. Table \(\PageIndex{1}\) lists the physical properties of some common esters. Borderline solubility occurs in those molecules that have three to five carbon atoms. Because ester molecules can engage in hydrogen bonding with water molecules, however, esters of low molar mass are somewhat soluble in water. Table 15.4 "Physical Properties of Some Esters" lists the physical properties of some common esters.

The most commonly discussed ester is ethyl ethanoate. Esters with low molecular weight are commonly used as fragrances and found in essential oils and pheromones.



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