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20.4.1 Reactions of alcohols with carboxylic acids to form esters.State uses IB Chemistry HL

Reacting an alcohol with a carboxylic acid in warm sulphuric acid produces an ester and water. This is a condensation reaction (a small extra molecule is produced -- in this case water). The sulphuric acid acts as a catalyst. The equation is in equilibrium.Esters have a "fruity" smell (mostly), and are found in fruit. They also make good solvents due to their intermediate polarity (not polar -- not really non-polar!). They are also highly flammable.Dr Atkinson wants to know which detergent will remove burnt fruit and melted stormtrooper armour.
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