Prep. of Acetylsalicylic Acid

You will use the following video to create this report in it’s entirety. Although, we won’t have questions from this lab on this weeks exam, you should still be thinking about the content in detail for your own benefit on future labs and exams. Also, don’t mind the nonsense at the end haha!

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The following is an outline of what your instructor expects to see in your lab reports. As long as the order and main titles (presented below in bold type) are present, the style is completely up to each student. A carbon copy laboratory notebook is required, and all work should be recorded directly in the notebook, not on scratch paper, as the work is performed. The written laboratory report includes the following areas:

  1. Name, Lab section or day/time and the complete title of the experiment should be written in the provided section on the top of each page.
  2. The Objective should indicate the purpose of the experiment in 1 to 2 sentences be clear and concise. If the experiment involves synthesizing a compound, meaning you make something new, please include a reaction scheme.
  3. A reagent table labeled as Physical and Chemical Properties of Reagents. Within this table should be the appropriate physical and chemical properties such as molar mass, melting point, boiling point, density, refractive index, amount needed, and at least one hazard and safety precaution for each substance. You can find this information in the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics or online at a credible website, such as or and the proper reference should be indicated below the table. Calculations of theoretical yield and limiting reagent should be written below this table if the experiment is a synthesis.
  4. Equipment/Apparatus section will include a list of common glassware or equipment needed, such as spatula, Erlenmeyer flask etc. OR you may be required to draw and label the apparatus primarily used in the experiment of the day unless the apparatus had been used in a previous experiment, such as distillation.
  5. Since you will be observing the experiments in a video format I want you to write the Procedure according to your observations and my narration. This way, it will be in your own words and in a manner that you understand! Yay! It should, however, be written such that any organic chemist can perform the experiment when using these procedures. It may be a flow chart, paragraph, or bullet point as an example. The first time you perform a certain technique, for example, a distillation, you must describe how to set up and perform the distillation. If a subsequent experiment requires a distillation, you may simply state that the liquid was distilled.

The above 5 sections are called the “pre-lab” and would typically be due upon entering the lab, but in this online format will be submitted with the below sections, called the “post-lab” and will include the following:

  1. Data and Results section is completed during the lab. Include all data obtained, observations (color changes, emulsions forming, liquid disappeared, melting point, crystallization), measurements (including tared masses), and results. Analytical results, such as an NMR spectra or IR should be attached at the end of the report.
  2. Calculations including items such as percent yield, or Rf values etc should be written out completely

The Conclusions section should be used to interpret the data obtained. You should summarize your results of the experiment, including data such as yields, mp, bp, purity and how you came to this conclusion, % error, spectral analysis, literature values as well as any other necessary information needed to identify if the objectives of the experiment were achieved. You may also state whether or not the procedure was a good method for making the desired compound and any suggestions on improving the methods for future experiments. Possible sources of error, and how that error would affect the overall yield are extremely important to comment on.

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