Pamela Brown and Simon Dexter. Department of Chemical Technology, New York City College of Technology, 300 Jay Street, New York City, NY 11201
ABSTRACT: A lab was introduced into the Organic Chemistry curriculum for isoamylacetate (banana oil) synthesis using microwave heating. Stoichiometric amounts of acetic anhydride and isoamyl alcohol (7.54 g of acetic anhydride with 6.54 g of isoamyl alcohol) are mixed and heated in a CEM MARS Microwave oven for 1 to 4 minutes at 100C, after a 2 minute ramp to the reaction temperature. The products are titrated using 2.0 M NaOH. The sample separates into 2 phases, an organic phase containing essentially pure isoamylacetate, and an aqueous phase containing sodium acetate. Titration results can be used to calculate the yield and pooling class data can be used to determine the rate equation. This is an example of green chemistry because the microwave heating eliminates the need for using sulfuric acid as a catalyst, and extraction of the isoamylacetate with ether, as is traditionally done with this experiment.