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Fischer Esterification Reaction

Fischer esterification is one of the more direct condensation methods known, which provides esters directly from alcohols and carboxylic acids. Generally, a simple acid catalyst such as PTSA (= p-toluenesulfonic acid) can accelerate reactions, particularly between sterically hindered substrates. In addition, more forcing conditions such as solvent-free or high-temperature reflux can be employed for driving equilibrium towards the product through distillation and trapping of byproduct moisture. Distillation apparatuses such as a Dean-Stark trap and molecular sieves, or desiccating inorganic salt are commonly used for dehydration.



Reagents: strong acids
Reactants: alcohols, carboxylic acids
Products: esters

Scheme:

Fischer esterification reaction

Original literature

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