Transesterification as green synthesis of ethyl and methyl alkyl esters

Bruce W. Baldwin and Aaron Samuel Clark. Department of Chemistry, Spring Arbor University, 106 E. Main St., Spring Arbor, MI 49283

ABSTRACT: The synthesis of alkyl ethyl and methyl esters is a ubiquitous experiment in the undergraduate laboratory curriculum. We have modified the synthesis of biodiesel to serve as an environmentally benign synthesis of these interesting esters. A series of transesterifications resulting in pure methyl or ethyl alkyl esters will culminate with transesterification of trimyristin from nutmeg extraction. These esters have distinctive and agreeable odors and are obtained in high purity.