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The Synthesis Of Phenacetin From p-Acetamidophenol

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CH1751B - EXPERIMENT 15 The Synthesis Of Phenacetin From p-Acetamidophenol Introduction: "Phenacetin is an analgetic and an antipyretic reagent which acts in the body by temporaririly inhibiting prostaglandin synthesis in the central nervous system". Aim: * To synthesise Phenacetin from p-Acetamidophenol and purify it by recrystallisation. * Analyse purity of Phenacetin produced, by comparing the melting point with the literature values, the appearance and the Infrared Spectrum. Method: Sodium metal (0.6g, cut into small pieces) was cautiously placed into a dry 100cm3 round flask by taking the flask to the "sodium" balance and placing the sodium directly into the flask. A dry reflux condenser was attached and industrial methylated spirits (IMS, 15cm3) was added. A vigorous reaction occurred for 5-10 minutes under reflux until most of the sodium had dissolved. Once the solution had cooled 3.8g of p-acetamidophenol was added. ...read more.


Sodium ethoxide 2. ethyl iodide Para-acetamidophenol Phenacetin Results: Reactants Products Names Para-acetamidophenol Phenacetin Colour White powder White crystals Weight of Sample (g) 3.8 3.72 Melting point range for our experiment = 134.7 - 137.2 Percentage yield of Phenacetin from our experiment: P-acetamidophenol RAM= (2 x 16) + 14 + 9 + (12 x 8) = 151gmol-1 P-acetamidophenol moles= mass/RAM = 3.8/151 = 0.0252mol P-acetamidophenol (moles) : phenacetin (moles) = 1 : 1= 0.0250mol: 0.0250mol Phenacetin RAM= (2 x 16) + 14 + (10 x 12) + 13 = 179 Phenacetin mass (theoretical yield) = moles x RAM = 0.0250 x 179 = 4.5108g Percentage yield: (actual yield / theoretical yield) x 100 (3.72g/4.5108) x 100 = 82.34% Analysing the IR spectrum it shows that a new product (phenacetin) has been produced as there is no peak above 3500cm-1. ...read more.


The melting point for phenacetin in the experiment was between 134.7 - 137.2oC. Comparing that with the literature values (134-136oC), we can say that our experimental values were very similar to the literature values. However we had a greater range than the literature value range. Therefore we assume our product was pure. The IR spectrum shows characteristic peaks and readings proving that Phenacetin has been formed; showing the characteristic ether and extra carbon and no hydroxyl group. Machanism: � This "ethoxide" can deprotonate paracetamol. I Conclusion: Our final product was pure white flake crystals of phenacetin. This can be proven by the whiteness shine of the flakes and the IR spectrum. The IR spectrum showed the relevant peaks of the product phenacetin. We determined the melting point to be between 134.7 - 137.2oC, which was very similar to the literature values. This indicates the accuracy of our experiment and determination. Finally the percentage yield of 82.34% indicates that overall the experiment was successful. ...read more.

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The response to the question is done well throughout based on analysis, correct calculations and the depth of discussion. The main things that need work are just the structure

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Response to the question

The response to the question is done well throughout based on analysis, correct calculations and the depth of discussion. The main things that need work are just the structure

Level of analysis

The candidate uses a good introduction which concisely sets out what they're going to do and the uses of the product in the wider society. The method should really be bullet pointed with the observations next to them so it is clearer to read, although you can decipher how to carry out the experiment from the block of text provided. The diagram of the reaction and the chemical equation are all correct. The results and discussion show the experiment was successful, and show a deep scientific analysis and understanding of the experiment. Equations are correct, and decimal places are consistent. The candidate provided a well thought out discussion about why the results showed what they did. The conclusion is adequate and succinct.

Quality of writing

Could have been presented a bit more tidy with different font sizes in places and hard to read bulk paragraphs in places which should have be formatted as suggested above. Spelling, grammar and punctuation all to a good standard.

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