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(organic chemistry)
A chemical reaction whereby esters are formed.



the production of esters by reacting alcohols with acids. For example, carboxylic acids are esterified through the reaction

Esterification is a reversible reaction; water reacts with esters to form the parent compounds (seeHYDROLYSIS).

The position of the equilibrium in esterification depends on the nature and amount of the acid and alcohol used. For example, when ethyl alcohol and acetic acid are combined in equimolar proportions, the equilibrium is established after two-thirds of the alcohol and acid have been converted to the ester (ethyl acetate). The temperature has a great effect on the rate at which maximum esterification is attained. Thus, in the previous example, only 55 percent of the maximum is formed at room temperature in 368 days, but 55.7 percent is formed at 100°C in 32 hours, and 66 percent is formed at 150°C in 24 hours. The reaction is also accelerated by the addition of strong acids, for it increases the concentration of hydronium ions, which are catalysts of esterification. According to the law of mass action, in order to increase the yield of the ester, either the concentration of one of the reactants must be increased or one of the products (ester or water) must be removed from the reaction vessel as it is formed. In the latter case, compounds that form azeotropic mixtures with water are sometimes added to the reaction mixture in order to facilitate the removal by distillation.

Between 1877 and 1879, N. A. Menshutkin established that primary alcohols undergo esterification the most readily and that tertiary alcohols undergo esterification with the greatest difficulty. In 1938 the American chemists D. Roberts and H. Urey used isotopically labeled compounds (tracers) to show that the hydroxyl group is split from the acid molecule in esterification, as shown in the reaction

Of the various methods for producing esters, esterification is the simplest and most convenient method, and it has the greatest practical importance. Esterification is one of the best studied and most commonly used organic reactions; it was first studied by P. Berthelot in 1862 and 1863.

Esterification is common in living cells and is important because of the formation of ester bonds between individual nucleotide molecules in nucleic acids. These bonds link the phosphoric radical attached to the fifth carbon of the carbohydrate pentose in one mononucleotide with the alcohol group attached to the third carbon of the pentose of another mononucleotide. The formation of the bond is catalyzed by aminoacyl-RNA synthetases, which are specific enzymes of the ligase class. The reaction of cyclization with the loss of pyrophosphate in the formation of cyclic nucleotides is also essentially an esterification that occurs between the acid and alcohol groups within a single molecule. This reaction is accomplished by means of the specific enzymes adenylate cyclase and guanylidate cyclase.


References in periodicals archive ?
The yield of esterification is independent of the type of alcohol used.
When fatty acids of oils and fats are converted into biodiesel using trans-esterification their properties seems to be very close or in some cases better than diesel fuels for use in diesel engines because the product formed after trans- esterification consists of high viscosity.
Antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of clove essential oil and eugenyl acetate produced by enzymatic esterification.Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology, vol.
A highly efficient catalyst for the esterification of acetic acid using n-butyl alcohol.
This paper reports the synthesis of a biocatalyst using lipase from Candida rugosa (CRL) absorbed onto previously synthetized support, temperature- and pH-sensitive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide-co-itaconic acid) hydrogel, P(NiPAAm/ IA), and its application in esterification synthesis of n-amyl isobutyrate.
This observation suggested that the starch maleate was successfully formed during the esterification process.
Biodiesel production from waste coconut oil by esterification with ethanol: The effect of water removal by adsorption.
While proprietary, it can be disclosed that the esterification was performed by the addition of methanol with acid to catalyze the esterification reaction.
IR peaks in the ranges of 1700 and 1740 [cm.sup.-1] were examined to differentiate absorbance peaks due to cellulose esterification from those indicative of triglyceride esters, carboxylic acids, and amide carbonyl groups (per the reaction of diacids in the presence of ammonium hydroxide (7)).
The pre-esterification of SFFO was conducted at two different temperature namely room temperature (32degC and at 60degC) to find out the optimal temperature for the esterification. It was found that performing the esterification at 60degC resulted in higher yield and lower acid value.
Walters said, is that unprocessed cholesterol can be toxic to cells and requires fatty acid-mediated modification to render it safe in a process called esterification.
She showcased her project titled "Dual Chamber Tubular Reactor for Continuous Trans esterification of Waste Cooking Oil" at the Rio+20 Summit organised by the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, said a press release issued by the institute on Monday.