Isolation & Identification of the Major Constituent of Clove Oil with Steam Distillation Essay

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Isolation & Identification of the Major Constituent of Clove Oil with Steam Distillation

The purpose of this laboratory experiment was to isolate and characterize clove oil in order to understand how to isolate organic compounds with high boiling points, how to perform and interpret qualitative tests for organic compound functionality, and to continue to learn how to perform and interpret IR spectrometry. Steam distillation was used in order to prevent the organic compound from decomposing at temperatures approaching the compound's boiling point. The essential oil of a plant is a mixture of volatile, water-insoluble components that exhibits the odor and other characteristics of the plant. In this experiment the essential oils
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One of the most distinctive bands in an infrared spectrum was the one arising from the carbonyl (C=O) stretching mode. This was a very strong peak observed somewhere between 1640-1820 cm-1, and frequently between 1670-1780 cm-1. Its exact location varies between the various carbonyl containing compounds. There was no strong peak due to a carbonyl group in the IR spectrum graph. In fact, the spectrum was practically empty in this region. That was the most pertinent information needed to figure out which compound was the correct one. With the six compounds given as options for the main component in clove oil only one of them lacks a carbonyl group. Among the other five, there is an ester, a carboxylic acid, 2 cyclic ketones and an aldehyde. All of these have a C=O group somewhere in the structure. Therefore, it was easy to conclude that the compound without the C=O group in it was the main compound in clove oil.
Discussion of Error With a 58.6 % calculated percent recovery, quite a few errors occurred during the experiment. During the distillation portion of the experiment the mixture boiled too rapidly resulting in the brown mixture of clove and water to froth up into the Hickman still. This was because our hot plate was left unattended and allowed to reach a temperature of 200 300 degrees Celsius. Quite a bit of clove was lost since the apparatus was taken apart and a portion of the clove stuck in the Hickman still was cleaned out.