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The Base Hydrolysis of Ethyl Acetate

Figure from experiment 29 from Advanced Chemistry with Vernier


The reaction of ethyl acetate and hydroxide ions yields ethanol and acetate ions, as shown below.

{\text{C}}{{\text{H}}_{\text{3}}}{\text{COO}}{{\text{C}}_{\text{2}}}{{\text{H}}_{\text{5}}}{\text{(aq)  +  O}}{{\text{H}}^{\text{ - }}}{\text{(aq)}} \to {\text{C}}{{\text{H}}_{\text{3}}}{\text{C}}{{\text{H}}_{\text{2}}}{\text{OH(aq)  +  C}}{{\text{H}}_{\text{3}}}{\text{CO}}{{\text{O}}^{\text{ - }}}{\text{(aq)}}

The progress of this reaction can be observed by monitoring the conductivity of the reaction mixture. Although the reactants and products each contain an ion, the OH ion has a higher ionic mobility than the CH3COO ion. This results in a net decrease in the conductivity of the reaction mixture as the reaction proceeds.

Ethyl acetate is the major active ingredient in commercial acetone-free, nail-polish removers. The molar concentration of CH3COOC2H5 in this product is 0.10 M. You can successfully use one of these over-the-counter products in this experiment. The primary objective of this experiment is to conduct a series of reactions from which you will determine the rate law expression for the base hydrolysis of ethyl acetate.


In this experiment, you will

  • Conduct the base hydrolysis of ethyl acetate under various conditions.
  • Calculate the rate law constant, k, for the reaction.
  • Determine the rate law expression for the reaction.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

Additional Requirements

You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?

Standards Correlations

See all standards correlations for Advanced Chemistry with Vernier »

Experiment 29 from Advanced Chemistry with Vernier Lab Book

<i>Advanced Chemistry with Vernier</i> book cover

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