Organic Syntheses, Coll. Vol. 1, p.235 (1941); Vol. 6, p.36 (1926).
In a 2-l. round-bottomed flask
, fitted with an efficient reflux condenser
, are placed 500 g. (531 cc., 5.7 moles) of ethyl acetate (Note 1)
, and 50 g. (2.2 atoms) of clean sodium wire or finely sliced sodium (Note 2)
is added. The reaction is at first quite slow, and must be started by warming on a water bath (Note 3)
. After the reaction is once started it proceeds vigorously and cooling is then necessary in order to avoid loss of material through the condenser. When the rapid reaction slows down, the reaction mixture is heated on a water bath until the sodium
has completely dissolved. This usually requires about one and one-half hours. At this stage the reaction mixture should be a clear red liquid with a green fluorescence.
This solution is then cooled and made slightly acid by adding about 275 cc. of 50 per cent acetic acid (Note 4)
. Salt is added if necessary to cause the ester to separate. The ester layer is separated, dried over calcium chloride
, and fractionally distilled under reduced pressure from a modified Claisen flask (p. 130)
The yield of ester boiling at 76–80°/18 mm.
is 105–110 g.
per cent of the theoretical amount based on the ethyl acetate
) (Note 5)
The grade of ethyl acetate
used is very important. It must be entirely free from water and should contain about 2–3 per cent of alcohol
. The absolute ethyl acetate
of the U. S. Industrial Alcohol Company is satisfactory for use. If this grade is not available, ordinary ethyl acetate
may be purified by washing it with twice its volume of water and drying over fused potassium carbonate
, from which it is decanted, and used directly. The ethyl acetate
purified in this way contains enough ethyl alcohol
to allow the reaction to run well. The ethyl acetate
in the wash water may be recovered by distilling through a short column
from a steam cone
until the vapors reach a temperature of 72°. Dry ethyl acetate
containing 2–3 per cent of alcohol
has a boiling point range of 2 to 3°.
If the ester is dry enough to use in this reaction it will not give a gelatinous mass of sodium hydroxide
when treated with a little sodium
wire and finely sliced sodium
are equally good to use in this reaction. It is important to avoid exposure of the sodium
to the air which converts part of it into sodium hydroxide
It is convenient to arrange the water bath so that it may be heated by passing in steam or cooled by running in cold water.
It is advisable to avoid a large excess of acetic acid
since it increases the solubility of the ester in water.
When larger runs are made, the yields increase; thus 2000 g. of ethyl acetate
and 200 g. of sodium
give 515–568 g. of ethyl acetoacetate
. From a run of this size it is possible to recover about 700 cc. of ethyl acetate
. An approximately proportional recovery is obtained in smaller runs.
This preparation is referenced from:
Copyright © 1921-, Organic Syntheses, Inc. All Rights Reserved