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Synthesis of Aspirin: How to fight students’ migraines Virtual Lab

Hone your synthetic skills in organic chemistry by going through a reaction that involves crystallization, filtration, calculation of the yield and a quality analysis using the melting point: the synthesis of aspirin.

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Synthesis of Aspirin: How to fight students’ migraines

About this Simulation

Begin your learning experience in a modern pharmacy and help Marie the pharmacist, by synthetizing some extra aspirin in the laboratory, to fight the outbreak of headaches amongst students during the exam period.

Identify the reaction

First, let’s dive into the theory!  Learn about esterification reactions and the history of aspirin. You will be challenged to understand the correct reagents and products involved in the synthesis of aspirin. With the basics now covered, you are ready to step into the laboratory! 

Perform crystallization and filtration

The practical part of the simulation begins. Following the canonical synthetic route, you go through the steps of a synthesis like you would in a real laboratory, with some precious time gained! In our virtual lab, multiple actions can happen simultaneously and you can speed up time.

From weighing the reagent to setting the correct apparatus for the reaction, from finding the correct ways of cooling down a solution to following the best practices to form big crystals, you are constantly challenged and supported with the theory. A great way to learn by doing, gain lab skills and master the equipment!

Calculate the yield and check the quality of the product

To complete the experience, you are asked to look into which steps could have caused a loss of product in the whole synthetic process, and calculate the yield. You are also responsible for  testing the quality of the product, and perform a qualitative analysis using the melting point technique.

Time to check if your mission is accomplished! Did you synthetize enough aspirin to help all those students?

Learning Objectives

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to:

  • Briefly describe the reactions involved in the synthesis procedure (esterification)

  • Correctly assemble and use condenser apparatus

  • Correctly assemble and use the suction filtration (Buchner)

  • Determine the percentage yield of the final product

  • Assess the purity with the melting point technique

Techniques in Lab

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to:

  • Organic synthesis
  • Percentage yield calculation

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