What is acid hydrolysis

The Esterification (also ester formation) is an equilibrium and condensation reaction in which an alcohol is paired with an acid to form an ester. The acid component can be an organic acid (e.g. acetic acid, benzoic acid, citric acid) or an inorganic acid (e.g. sulfuric acid, nitric acid, phosphoric acid). The reverse reaction of the esterification is that acid Ester hydrolysis (see also hydrolysis). The basic Ester hydrolysis has a different reaction mechanism, see also under saponification.

The general reaction equation for an esterification is: acid + alcohol Ester + water

Esterification of carboxylic acids

Esters are formed when an alcohol and a carboxylic acid are combined with an acid (such as concentrated sulfuric acid) as a catalyst. This leads to an addition-elimination reaction, which Esterification is called. The reverse reaction that takes place in parallel is also referred to as acidic Ester hydrolysis or Ester cleavage.

General reaction equation for the esterification of a carboxylic acid:

Mechanism of acid catalyzed esterification

Further esterification reactions

There are a number of other ways to convert alcohols and acids or acid derivatives to esters, such. B. the reaction between alcohol and acid chloride (Schotten-Baumann method), alcohol and acid anhydride, the Steglich esterification or the Mitsunobu reaction.

Ester cleavage

The reverse reaction of the esterification is called acidic ester hydrolysis. During the saponification, the ester cleavage takes place in a basic environment. Hence it is also known as alkaline ester hydrolysis.

Category: Chemical reaction