Synthesis of Aspirin Virtual Lab Simulation | PraxiLabs

Synthesis of Aspirin Virtual Lab Simulation

Chemistry | Organic Chemistry

As Featured In

General Aim

Synthesis of Aspirin.


Acetylsalicylic acid (Aspirin) is prepared by chemical synthesis from salicylic acid, through acetylation with acetic anhydride in presence of a catalyst, commonly phosphoric acid to speed up the reaction. The phenol group on the salicylic acid forms an ester with the carboxyl group on the acetic anhydride.

Learning Objectives (ILO’s)

  • <p>Become proficient at running organic chemical reactions.

  • Learning the basics of organic synthesis procedures.

  • Understand the mechanism of Aspirin synthesis reaction.

  • Learn the function of Aspirin synthesis reaction.

  • Get trained on how the setup of the reaction is used.</p>

Theoretical Background/Context

Aspirin; the common name of Acetylsalicylic acid, is a synthetic organic derived from salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is a natural product found in the bark of the willow tree and was used by the ancient Greeks and Native Americans, among others, to counter fever and pain. However, salicylic acid is bitter and irritates the stomach. The IUPAC nomenclature of Aspirin is 2-Acetoxybenzoic acid. Aspirin can be mainly prepared through the esterification reaction; where a hydroxyl group of salicylic acid reacts with acetic anhydride to form Aspirin and acetic acid. Esterification reactions are catalyzed by the presence of concentrated acids to force the reaction forward preventing it from going backward. The main role of phosphoric acid in this reaction is acting as a catalyst since it is a dehydrating agent. Aspirin is an oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is rapidly absorbed from the stomach and the small intestine. It is a non-selective NSAID as it irreversibly inhibits both cyclooxygenase (COX) enzymes involved in converting arachidonic acid to prostaglandins and thromboxane.

Principle of Work

Aspirin is synthesized through the reaction of salicylic acid and acetic anhydride in the presence of phosphoric acid as a catalyst. Finally, the formed crude aspirin is purified by recrystallization using absolute ethanol and the pure aspirin is collected by vacuum based filtration.

PraxiLabs is Recognized Worldwide

Customers Love PraxiLabs

“With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we found ourselves in a situation that forced us to act quickly to find the best solution available to provide our students with a quality molecular genetics laboratory experience.”

Korri Thorlacius, B.Sc.
Biology Laboratory Instructor
Biology Department
Kwantlen Polytechnic University

'' Although there are now several vendors offering virtual reality software for physics labs, there is only one that offers a realistic, I feel like I’m in a real lab, solution: PraxiLabs.''

Dr.‌ ‌William‌ ‌H.‌ ‌Miner,‌ ‌Jr.‌ ‌
Professor‌ ‌of‌ ‌Physics‌ ‌
Palm‌ ‌Beach‌ ‌State‌ ‌College‌ ‌
Boca‌ ‌Raton,‌ ‌FL‌

" PraxiLabs offered my students a chance to actively engage with the material. Instead of watching videos on a topic, they could virtually complete labs and realize the practical applications of class topics. This is a quality alternative to in-person labs."

Crys Wright
Teaching Assistant
Texas A&M University, USA

"Great user experience and impressive interaction, I am very pleased to have tried the simulations and will continue to do so."

Dr. Khaled M Goher
Lecturer in Biomedical Engineering
Aston University, UK

The #1 Science Virtual Labs used by Educational Institutions

Explore More Interactive 3D Virtual Simulations

Designed for Safety and Engagement

Find out how PraxiLabs keeps students engaged and improves learning outcomes