The aim of this experiment is to synthesize the common pain killer aspirin wrought an sterilization reaction between Salicylic Acid and Acetic Anhydride; using sulfuric acid as a catalyst (4). Background: Aspirin is one of the most widely used drugs in the world. The history of aspirin extends to the 5th century B. C. , when Hippocrates, the Greek physician, used a powder extracted from ground willow bark to reduce fever and relive pain (2). Later, French Pharmacist Leroy, in 1829, discovered that saline was the active ingredient in the bark off willow tree (1).
The human body converts saline after its ingested to another chemical, salicylic acid (8). Salicylic acid, however, irritates he mucous membranes of the mouth and esophagi. In large doses aspirin can cause gastrointestinal ulcers and ringing in the ears (1). Aspirin was first synthesized by chemist Felix Hoffmann, and was first commercially produced by the German pharmaceutical company Brayer in 1897 (2). Hoffmann noticed that the acidity of salicylic acid as the main cause for stomach irritation, and started searching for a lower acidic formula.His research led him to discover ecstatically acid, a chemical compound that had the remedial properties of other silicates and seemed to cause far less stomach irritations.
Hoffmann was able to achieve this by variety of chemical reactions that substituted hydrogen from a phenol hydroxyl group (OH) group with an acetate group converting it to ecstatically acid (2). The new compound eased moderate pain, reduced fever and at higher dosages relived inflammatory disease such as rheumatoid arthritis. Ecstatically acid, nevertheless, in large doses can cause shortness of breath and increase heart rate (4).Chemist Heimlich Dresser in 1899 gave ecstatically acid the name aspirin. In 1897, however, Brayer thought that aspirin did not have much of future; they did not know the success aspirin would have (4). Today aspirin is listed on the World Health Organization list of essential drugs for basic health (15).
Furthermore, approximately fifty over the counter medications have aspirin as their active ingredient (4). The Experiment: In this experiment, aspirin will be prepared using a similar method to the way it is industrially produced.