Transesterification

Transesterification is the conversion of a carboxylic acid ester into a different carboxylic acid ester.  The most common method of transesterification is the reaction of the ester with an alcohol in the presence of an acid catalyst.

eg:



mechanism:



Since both the reactants and the products are an ester and an alcohol, the reaction is reversible and the equilibrium constant is close to one.  Consequently, the Le Catelier’s principle has to be exploited to drive the reaction to completion.  The simplest way to do so is to use the alcohol as the solvent as well.

Print Friendly