Synthesis of Aspirin for Chemistry IA

You can explore A Step-by-Step Study into the Synthesis of Aspirin for the IB Chemistry IA. Ever wanted to understand the chemistry behind synthesizing aspirin? This study guide is designed specifically for IB Chemistry IA students, providing a step-by-step process for making aspirin, and an understanding of the science involved.

Start by Gaining an Understanding of How Aspirin Works.

Before beginning the synthesis of aspirin, it is important to understand how aspirin works and why it works. Aspirin is a chemical compound known as acetylsalicylic acid. It works by blocking the action of specific enzymes that cause inflammation in the body, resulting in a reduced risk for developing some diseases but without any significant side effects. To gain this understanding, research the chemistry behind aspirin and consider talking with your teacher or mentor to get clarity on its structure, properties and reactivity.

Preparing the Reagents for Synthesis of Aspirin.

Before starting the synthesis of aspirin, it is important to prepare all of the necessary reagents. In this case, you will need salicylic acid, acetic anhydride and phosphoric acid. Measure out 1g of salicylic acid, 2mL of acetic anhydride and 1 mL of phosphoric acid. Furthermore, make sure to wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from any splashing liquid or fumes during the experiment. Once the reagents are ready, you can begin the synthesis!

Understand Acid-base Properties of the Compounds Involved in the Synthesis Process.

In order to successfully synthesize aspirin, it is important to understand the acid-base properties of the compounds involved in the synthesis process. Salicylic acid is an acid, which means it will change colour when placed in a base solution; acetic anhydride is also an acid and will react when placed in a basic solution. On the other hand, phosphoric acid is a base and reacts with acids by causing them to dissolve. Knowing these reactions will help you know how to correctly manipulate each compound as you progress through the synthesis process.

Prepare a Solution and Calculate Volume to be Used in the Reaction.

The first step in synthesizing aspirin is to make a solution of salicylic acid and acetic anhydride. First, calculate the amount of each compound you need using the mole ratio specified by your professor. After this, add the given amounts of salicylic acid and acetic anhydride to a beaker filled with distilled water and stir until they dissolve. Next, place the beaker in a hot water bath so that the reaction is done at room temperature. Finally, measure out a specific volume of this solution which you will use for the reaction.

Ensure Safety Measures are Taken Before Starting Chemical Reaction in Lab Conditions.

Before starting the chemical reaction in lab conditions, it is important to exercise caution and good safety practices. Make sure you are wearing protective laboratory glasses, gloves, and closed-toe shoes to protect yourself from any splashes or spills. Additionally, check the equipment you’ll be using for signs of damage or wear and tear before use. Last but not least, always have an eye wash station nearby just in case anything goes wrong during the experiment.

Synthesis of Aspirin using Salicylic acid is a good topic to write IB diploma chemistry Internal assessment.
You can synthesise Aspirin which is 2-Acetoxybenzoic acid through the acetylation of salicylic acid using acetic
anhydride or acetyl chloride as a result it is an esterification reaction. You can research on the topic and decide the suitable variables so you can frame a focussed research question.

The molecule of salicylic acid is actually 2-hydroxybenzoic acid. The following chemical reaction happens when salicylic acid and Ethanoyl chloride reacts.


I hope that you must have got an insight about the topic by A Step-by-Step Study into the Synthesis of Aspirin for the IB Chemistry IA.

You can read IB Diploma chemistry topics here.

You should buy and read IB chemistry IA text book here.

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