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Chalcones represent a group of compounds with interesting biological
activities that are formed from an aldol condensation between a benzaldehyde
and an acetophenone in the presence of NaOH as a catalyst. Although
typically synthesized using organic solvents, in this exercise students
prepare 20 different chalcones using a solventless procedure. The scale of
these reactions can be easily modified due to the high yields and ease of
purifications. A diverse set of reactants combined with differential
product profiles for traditional vs. solventless reactions, provides a
unique framework for discussing how a broad range of chemical and physical
properties affect product yields.
Supplemental materials are provided on the J. Chem. Educ. website and include notes for instructors and students, an experimental procedure, hazards, sample results and conclusions.
Summary prepared May 2005 by Julie A. Haack, Department of Chemistry at the University of Oregon.
Palleros, D. R. J. Chem. Educ., Print 2004, 81, pp 1345-1347.