Why might the Calcium ethanoate and Ethanol react this way?Calcium ethanoateEthanol The mixture instantly becomes a white, clear gel. When the beaker is turned upside down, the mixture stays solid...

Why might the Calcium ethanoate and Ethanol react this way?

Calcium ethanoate
Ethanol

The mixture instantly becomes a white, clear gel. When the beaker is turned upside down, the mixture stays solid and remains at the bottom of the beaker.

 

Asked on by ljm3515

1 Answer | Add Yours

ncchemist's profile pic

ncchemist | eNotes Employee

Posted on

Calcium ethanoate (also called calcium acetate) is the calcium salt of acetic acid and can be written as (H3CCO2)2Ca.  It is a very hygroscopic solid, meaning that it absorbs and coordinates with water very readily.  When ethanol is added to a saturated aqueous solution of calcium ethanoate it causes a white gel to form immediately.  This is because the calcium ethanoate is relatively insoluble in ethanol as opposed to water thus it precipitates as a solid.  But instead of forming a powdery solid it coordinates with both the water and ethanol present to make a very moist, gelatinous solid.  This is why it sticks to the bottom of the beaker instead of pouring out with any liquid.

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,994 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question