Guidance on Formal Report on Experiment :Preparation of Aspirin
The following sections should be included
1 A brief history of aspirin, outlining how it was developed from early herbal medicines derived from plant sources. This section should include a short summary of how aspirin was first made, together with an overview of its medicinal properties. One paragraph will suffice.
2 A description of the experimental method. The text should be written in such a way as to permit a person with a similar level of skill and experience to repeat exactly what you did, without reference to any other documents. The style of the text should be that of the experimental section in a chemical journal. It should be written in the third person and past tense, with quantities of starting materials, solvents and reagents quoted in brackets immediately after the name of the compound. Thus, “cyclohexanone (10 ml) was transferred to a 100 ml round bottomed flask” is the correct format. In contrast, “I put 10 ml of cyclohexanone in a 100 ml round bottomed flask” is not correct. The text should be descriptive, written as a set of connected sentences, not a series of bullet points. Do not give instructions: thus, “transfer 10 ml of cyclohexanone into a round bottomed flask” is incorrect. Two paragraph(s) will suffice.
3 A description of the product that was obtained, with details of its appearance and melting point, the yield (in grams), the percentage yield (allowing for the change in molecular mass in the reaction). The literature melting point should be quoted and compared to the melting point of your sample. Thus, “Iridescent blue crystals (1.30 g, 62%) having mp 284-5 °C [lit 286 °C (Dictionary of Organic Compounds)]” would be an example of the correct format. A short paragraph will suffice. Any comments (a sentence or two) on the success (or otherwise) of the experiment should be included in this section.
4 A summary of the main hazards associated with handling each of the starting materials, reagents and products, with specific reference to the safety precautions that were taken to minimise any risks involved in handling these materials. Details of risk phrases are not required. Do not merely reproduce risk phrases, but state the nature of any hazard associated with a particular material and then indicate how you minimised these hazards. A sentence or two for each material will suffice.
5 A scheme showing the structures of the starting materials, reagents and products. This scheme must be prepared using the computer software, as indicated during the training session.
6 A more detailed scheme showing the mechanism of the reaction (with curly arrows to show the movement of electrons). This scheme should be prepared using the computer software. If desired, sections 5 and 6 may be combined.
7 An interpretation of the IR spectra of salicyclic acid and aspirin, indicating which band may be attributed to which structural feature of each compound. This section should also discuss the significance of the differences between the two spectra. A short paragraph will suffice. Alternatively, the spectra may be annotated and attached to the report.
A detailed procedure of the experiment, the results and all the scanned spectra are attached here.
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