Question
Sat January 22, 2011 By: Prashant Khurana
 

explain esters and its chemical properties.

Expert Reply
Sun January 23, 2011
Dear Student
 
Esters: Esters are derived from carboxylic acids. A carboxylic acid contains the -COOH group, and in an ester the hydrogen in this group is replaced by a hydrocarbon group of some kind. This could be an alkyl group like methyl or ethyl, or one containing a benzene ring like phenyl.
 
Chemical properties: 

1. Hydrolysis of esters :  Esters break down into their respective organic acid and alcohol from which they are formed. This process is called hydrolysis. When sodium hydroxide is added to an ester, say for example to ethyl ethanoate, a salt sodium ethanoate is formed along with ethyl alcohol. The reaction is shown below.  

2.  Reduction: Ester can undergo reduction as follows:

RCO2R' + 2 H2 â†’ RCH2OH + R'OH

3. Ester can undergo several other reactions like  Fries rearrangement, Dieckmann condensation,  Claisen condensation.

We hope that clarifies your query.

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Team

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