Mix 10 drops of ethanoic acid, 10 ten drops of ethanol, a spatula of strong acid IER in a small vial or test tube. Surround with hot water from a kettle for 2 or 3 minutes, add sodium carbonate solution to neutralise the unused ethanoic acid and one can smell the ester. Other esters can be made. (So much for expiry dates on bottles!) No need for conc sulfuric acid. Green and safer, perfect! But of course not in the syllabus so difficult to persuade teachers to do it now. (We would have loved to have tried something new in the 1970s; how times change.)
Now what about this; the dreaded equilibrium constants! The teachers’ nightmare with both titration (mole) calculations and equilibrium as well
So why not add ion exchange resin as a heterogeneous catalyst instead. Now all you have to do is analyse for ethanoic acid when equilibrium has been established (1 day I find).I used 80 ml of water, 10 ml of ethanol, 5 ml of ethanoic acid. Find the ethanoic acid concentration. Now add and about 8g of ion exchange resin. Swirl the bottle, label at and leave it is secure place overnight. Next day carry out a titration for ethanoic acid concertation. All this appears to work. I can also make up little individual vials as well. I use my micro-titration by mass method with this and get good results.
I have found that strong acid IE resins will catalyse the hydrolysis of sucrose to monosaccharides. This week I was able to catalyse the reaction between salicylic acid and ethanoic anhydride to make aspirin in place of the homogeneous catalyst, 85% phosphoric acid or concetated sulfuric acid. A brief web literature search suggests it might be possible to do a Friedel-Crafts reaction.
So I wonder what else I could to with strong acid ion exchange resins?
Keeps me happy in the lab!