Question Video: Identifying the Type of Organic Compound That Reacts with Carboxylic Acids to Form Esters in a Set of Organic Compound Types Chemistry

Which type of organic compound reacts with carboxylic acids to form an ester? [A] Alcohol [B] Ketone [C] Alkane [D] Aldehyde [E] Alkene


Video Transcript

Which type of organic compound reacts with carboxylic acids to form an ester? (A) Alcohol, (B) ketone, (C) alkane, (D) aldehyde, or (E) alkene.

Carboxylic acids are a group of organic compounds containing the carboxyl functional group. The carboxyl group is made up of a carbonyl group, C double bond O, and the hydroxyl group, OH. Carboxylic acids are weak acids. This means they disassociate partially in water to form hydronium ions, or H3O+ ions.

Because carboxylic acids are acids, they can react with bases in neutralization reactions, just like inorganic acids. Carboxylic acids also undergo a variety of types of reactions, including those with various organic compounds.

An ester is an organic compound containing an ester group. An ester contains an ester functional group. The ester functional group consists of a carbon double bonded to an oxygen in a carbonyl group and that same carbon singly bonded to an oxygen atom, which is then bonded to another carbon. For example, a carbon of an alkyl group.

Esters often have a strong aroma or flavor and are the compounds responsible for the characteristic smell and taste of many fruit and flowers, for example, bananas. The question asks, which type of organic compound reacts with carboxylic acids to form an ester?

Let’s look at the reaction of a carboxylic acid with the first answer (A), alcohol. An alcohol is a compound containing a hydroxyl group directly bonded to a saturated carbon. The saturated carbon belongs either to an aliphatic or aromatic group. When a carboxylic acid and an alcohol are placed together in a vessel with a dehydrating acid, such as sulfuric acid, and everything is heated. The dehydrating acid removes a hydrogen from the carboxylic acid and a hydrogen and oxygen from the alcohol to produce water as the product. And the remaining portions of the carboxylic acid and the alcohol combine together to form an ester.

So the type of organic compound that reacts with carboxylic acids to form an ester is (A), alcohol. Carboxylic acids do not usually react with ketones, alkanes, aldehydes, or alkenes but are often formed from the oxidation of these compounds. So our final answer is (A), alcohol.

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