A Publication
of Reliable Methods
for the Preparation
of Organic Compounds
Annual Volume
Org. Synth. 1945, 25, 7
DOI: 10.15227/orgsyn.025.0007
[Acetanilide, α-benzoyl-]
Submitted by Charles J. Kibler and A. Weissberger.
Checked by R. L. Shriner and Fred W. Neumann.
1. Procedure
A 250-ml. three-necked round-bottomed flask is fitted with a dropping funnel, a mechanical stirrer, and a steam-jacketed column (15–20 cm. long) terminating in a still head. The still head carries a thermometer and is connected to a condenser set for downward distillation. In the flask are placed 42.2 g. (0.22 mole) of ethyl benzoylacetate (Note 1) and 50 ml. of dry xylene, and the flask is immersed in an oil bath. The bath is heated to 145–150°, stirring is begun, and 18.2 ml. (18.6 g., 0.20 mole) of aniline is added dropwise during 30 minutes. About 5 minutes after the addition has begun, the temperature in the still head rises to 75–78° as ethanol begins to distil. Approximately 12–14 ml. of distillate (Note 2) is collected in a 25-ml. graduate in about 1 hour; the end of the reaction is indicated by the fall of the temperature in the still head.
The reaction flask is removed from the oil bath, and the solution is poured into a 250-ml. beaker to crystallize; 10 ml. of benzene is used to rinse out the flask. When crystallization sets in, 50 ml. of petroleum ether (b.p. 35–55°) is added to the warm mixture with manual stirring. After the mixture has been chilled in an ice bath, the product is filtered by suction and washed with 100 ml. of a 1:1 petroleum ether-benzene mixture. It is then removed from the funnel, stirred into a slurry with 100 ml. of the mixed solvent, filtered, and again washed with 50 ml. of the solvent. These washings remove the bulk of the color, and a powdery white product remains. After standing overnight in a warm place, the product weighs 35.5–36.5 g. (74–76%) and melts at 104–105°. It may be purified further by recrystallization from benzene (3.7 ml. per g.). The yield of colorless benzoylacetanilide melting at 106–106.5° cor, is 32–34 g.
2. Notes
1. The ethyl benzoylacetate, aniline, and xylene should be redistilled before use. It is necessary that the flask and reagents be free from moisture. Impure starting materials and particularly traces of acids lower the yields. The submitters obtained 82–83% yields of benzoylacetanilide by using Eastman xylene (histological).
2. The distillate consists of a mixture of xylene and ethanol. By adding 100 ml. of water, the xylene layer can be separated and measured. Of 14 ml. of distillate, about 3.5 ml. is xylene and the balance, 10.5 ml. (89% of the theoretical amount), is ethanol.
3. Discussion
Benzoylacetanilide has been made by heating aniline and methyl benzoylacetate in an autoclave at 150°1 and by heating the anil C6H5NHCOCH2(C=NC6H5)C6H5 with dilute acid.1
This preparation is referenced from:

References and Notes
  1. Knorr, Ann., 245, 372 (1888).

Chemical Abstracts Nomenclature (Collective Index Number);
(Registry Number)

petroleum ether

ethanol (64-17-5)

Benzene (71-43-2)

aniline (62-53-3)

xylene (106-42-3)

Ethyl benzoylacetate (94-02-0)

Acetanilide, α-benzoyl- (85-99-4)

methyl benzoylacetate