With the Synthesis of Aspirin Organic Chemistry Laboratory Kit, students discover that aspirin is made the same way today that it was over 100 years ago. Students will prepare aspirin, determine its purity, and investigate its properties.
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Aspirin, first synthesized in 1897, is one of the oldest yet most common drugs in everyday use. In this student lab kit, students discover that aspirin is prepared the same way today that it was more than 100 years ago. The purpose of this experiment is to prepare aspirin, determine its purity, and investigate its properties. Working on a “mini-scale” level for improved safety, students react salicylic acid with acetic anhydride, recrystallize the crude aspirin product, and then carry out a chemical test to confirm the synthesis of aspirin. The lab has been optimized to match the knowledge and skill level of high school chemistry. The preparation has been scaled down to minimize the use of hazardous reagents, and the procedure has been simplified to make sure it is as safe as possible but still gives a satisfying outcome. Students will be fascinated as they trace the path of discovery for aspirin from a natural folk remedy to a modern-day wonder drug prescribed to prevent heart attacks and strokes! Includes reproducible student handouts, detailed background information, complete Teacher Notes with sample data and answers to all questions, and all necessary chemicals and consumable supplies.
Complete for 30 students working in pairs. Perform this experiment in a fume hood or well-ventilated lab. Apparatus for melting point determination is required and available separately.
Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
Science & Engineering Practices
Analyzing and interpreting data
Constructing explanations and designing solutions
Disciplinary Core Ideas
MS-PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter
MS-PS1.B: Chemical Reactions
HS-PS1.B: Chemical Reactions
MS-PS1-2. Analyze and interpret data on the properties of substances before and after the substances interact to determine if a chemical reaction has occurred.
HS-PS1-2. Construct and revise an explanation for the outcome of a simple chemical reaction based on the outermost electron states of atoms, trends in the periodic table, and knowledge of the patterns of chemical properties.