There are many equilibrium reactions that yield water as a co-product. It is the co-produced water that prevents a high yield of product being obtained. The removal of the water is necessary to drive the reaction to completion and this is done using Dean-Stark apparatus. The reaction is carried out under reflux in a solvent which is less dense than water to form an azeotrope. The apparatus allows the water to be separated from the condensed azeotrope preventing it from returning to the reaction mixture.
Dean-Stark apparatus video (download)Video | Video, Size 4.68 mb
Dean-Stark animationSimulation | Flash, Size 0.12 mb
Dean-Stark apparatus guideSimulation | Flash, Size 0.12 mb
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The Interactive lab primer has been developed as part of the Royal Society of Chemistry Teacher Fellowship Scheme titled ‘Chemistry for our Future’ in partnership with the University of Southampton, The University of Nottingham, University of Birmingham and The University of Sheffield
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