Can you please help me with these reactions? Thank you!  C2H6O + C2H4O2 ---(H2SO4)-->  ? C3H8O + C2H4O2 ---(H2SO4)-->  ? C5H12O + C2H4O2 ---(H2SO4)-->  ? CH4O + C7H6O3 +...

Can you please help me with these reactions? Thank you! 

C2H6O + C2H4O2 ---(H2SO4)-->  ?

C3H8O + C2H4O2 ---(H2SO4)-->  ?

C5H12O + C2H4O2 ---(H2SO4)-->  ?

CH4O + C7H6O3 + C2H4O2 ---(H2SO4)-->  ?

C5H12O + C4H8O2 + C2H4O2 ---(H2SO4)-->  ?

CH4O + C4H8O2 + C2H4O2 ---(H2SO4)-->  ?

Asked on by yahhhh

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ncchemist | eNotes Employee

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Based on your tag words, we are looking at condensation reactions.  A condensation reaction is where two different chemicals join together to form a new one.  In this case, we are condensing an alcohol (R'-OH) with a carboxylic acid (R-COOH) to produce an ester (R-COOR') with the simultaneous loss of a water molecule.  This reaction is catalyzed by acid, in this case sulfuric acid (H2SO4).

It will make this problem much easier to rewrite each reagent in the form of the corresponding alcohol and carboxylic acid.  If the reagent has only one oxygen, then it must be an alcohol.  If it has two oxygens, it is most likely a carboxylic acid.  Let's take it one by one.

1) C2H6O + C2H4O2 ---> ?

The first reagent has one oxygen so it must be an alcohol.  Two carbons make it ethyl based, so we have ethanol, better written as CH3CH2OH.  The second reagent therefore must be the carboxylic acid, and it also has two oygens so that fits as well.  Again, two carbons make it ethyl based, so we have acetic acid, better written as CH3CO2H.  Acetic acid and ethanol condense together to produce ethyl acetate, or CH3CO2CH2CH3, and water.  Therefore:

C2H6O + C2H4O2 -->  CH3CO2CH2CH3 + H2O

I will now give the other answers based on the above rationale.

2) CH3CH2CH2OH + CH3CO2H --> CH3CO2CH2CH2CH3 + H2O


For the next three reactions, there are two different carboxylic acids mixed in with an alcohol.  That means that the alcohol will form esters with both acids, thus giving a mixture of two different products.

4) CH3OH + C7H6O3 + CH3CO2H --> CH3CO2CH3 + other + 2H2O

I suspect you made a typing error with C7H6O3.  I'm honestly not sure what that would be.  I suspect it is supposed to be another carboxylic acid based on the established pattern.  Re-check your question to figure out what the other product would be.


6) CH3OH + CH3CH2CH2CO2H + CH3CO2H --> CH3CH2CH2CO2CH3 + CH3CO2CH3 + 2H2O


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