Fischer Esterification

Concept: Concept: General Reaction

2m
Video Transcript

Hey guys! Now we’re going to talk about one of the more important mechanisms in this course. That is mechanism of Fischer Esterification. Fischer Esterification is just another name for acid-catalyzed esterification. When we think about what that is, that would just mean that I’m taking a carboxylic acid and reacting it with alcohol in the presence of acid and I’m getting an ester. I'm getting an ester product hence the term esterification. According to our three rules, this is a totally fine reaction because we said that carboxylic acid and esters have about the same reactivity. It’s pretty easy to switch between the two. According to my three rules, I know this is a favored reaction that this can work. Then why do I have this video? Because it turns out that professors just love to ask about this mechanism because it’s one of the fundamental mechanisms of nucleophilic acyl substitution. That’s why I’m going to go into depth and we're going to draw the whole mechanism for this from scratch. Let's go ahead and do that now.