Hydrolysis of an ester

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A-Level Chemistry Coursework:

Hydrolysis of an ester

Ying-Jun Ng

For the hydrolysis of methyl benzoate, care must be taken throughout the procedure as a number of dangerous substances are being used. During the procedure a labcoat, goggles, and gloves must be worn throughout. Specific safety instructions for chemicals or procedures are explained in the step that they are introduced.

Observations, readings, and necessary safety precautions are discussed in the same order as the procedure was carried out in.

  1. Safety:

Methyl benzoate is harmful is inhaled or is it gets into contact with    the skin or eyes or if swallowed. So it is necessary to carry out the entire procedure in a well-ventilated area and gloves and goggles must be worn.

Sodium hydroxide is a caustic soda and so is not very dangerous however regular safety precautions (goggles, labcoats and gloves) and care is still carried out to prevent spillages.

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Ethanol is highly flammable and dangerous substance as it contains methanol. Therefore, it should not come into direct contact with any flame. It is harmful it swallowed, inhaled or comes into contact with skin.

Observations:

    Methyl benzoate is originally a transparent liquid however the addition of the sodium hydroxide, ethanol and anti bumping granules turns the liquid cloudy.

  1. Safety:

    As a Bunsen burner is being used a heat mat should be placed underneath and there should be careful control of the flame. Before heating the flask the condenser should be ...

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The layout is quite confusing as the method is not mentioned so the steps and safety precautions and observations are hard to follow. One reference is used, and the candidate should provide a wider range. Punctuation, grammar and spelling are fine.

The introduction is missing which sets out what the candidate is going to do in the experiment and an introduction is good for basic scientific principles behind the experiment and to introduce the essay. The candidate does not supply a method which is confusing, but rather explains observations at each step and the safety that should be observed, observations also included accurate weights. Calculations are correct. The candidate should provide an evaluation and conclusion to show their understanding of the science behind the experiment and how to improve it.

The candidate responds to the aim of the experiment okay with observations and weights and calculations all being correct. They should have repeated the experiment rather than rely on one set of results to show accuracy in the experiment. The missing evaluation, introduction and conclusion make the format of the essay harder to follow.