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Introduce your students to organic chemistry by having them synthesize a common household product. Students learn and use wet chemistry tests, extract organic starting materials from natural materials, and then use their natural product to synthesize aspirin. This unique procedure is safer than other aspirin synthesis labs. The activity takes approximately 45 min and is designed for a class of 30 students working in pairs.
Use a familiar pharmaceutical product, aspirin, to introduce students to functional groups and organic synthesis. In this organic chemistry experiment, students compare the properties of salicylic acid and acetylsalicylic acid through pH and iron chloride testing. They then extract salicylic acid from willow bark and use it to produce acetylsalicylic acid (the active ingredient in aspirin). This activity is designed for a class of 30 students working in pairs and requires approximately 45 min to complete. Note: Fifteen Chemplates®: (item #840690) or similar test plates are needed but not supplied.
|3 M Acetic Acid, 30 mL||1||Included|
|Iron(III) Chloride, 10%, 7 mL||1||Included|
|Ethanol, 95%, 120 mL||1||Included|
|Salicylic Acid, 2 g||1||Included|
|Acetylsalicylic Acid, 2 g||1||Included|
|Shredded Willow Bark, 18 g||1||Included|
|pH Paper Strips||100||Included|
|Teacher’s Manual with Reproducible Student Guide||1||Included|
|Chemplates® (item #840690)||15||Needed, Not Included|
|Permanent Markers||Needed, Not Included|
|Scissors||Needed, Not Included|