The Gum Benzoin Tree

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INTRODUCTION Benzoic acid was originally obtained from the gum Benzoin tree, and that’s where its name is derived. Benzoic acid (C7H6O2) is a weak carboxylic acid (contains an OOH functional group), which consists of an aromatic ring and is naturally used as a food preservative, therefore its capable of slowing down/halting the growth rate of bacteria that inhibit most foods. Benzoic acid is an organic molecule and in its crystalline (solid) state exists as a white powder, basically looks like tiny white crystals. Benzoic acid is a polar solute that is soluble in boiled water and less soluble in water at lower temperatures. Benzoic acids melting temperature is 122 degrees Celsius this enables it to dissolve in boiled water, although water must be heated above its natural boiling temperature of 100 degrees Celsius. Benzoic acid is a hazardous substance that causes irritation if contact is made with skin or eyes and if ingested/inhaled will also cause irritation to respiratory, digestive tracts. If contact is made with clothes remove immediately because it can absorb through the fabric and contact skin. With contact on skin or eyes immediately flush with water for at least 15 minutes if symptoms persist seek medical advice. When inhaled/ingested do not induce vomiting encourage drinking of water/milk, seek medical attention. The correct personal protective equipment (PPE) should be used at all times and a well ventilated work space should be maintained. Benzoic acid is stable under standard/normal laboratory conditions (SLC). Organic compounds are compounds that consist of carbons that are covalently bonded together. Recrystallization is the method of purifying solid organic compounds. Purification or purifying is the removal ... ... middle of paper ... ... they are. Also temperature maybe play a big role in the growth, remember the solution was originally boiled so by changing the temperature by such a margin (cooling with ice) it could definitely upset the growth pattern, while by allowing the crystals to gradually rest at a constant temperature which in this case was room temperature, will result in larger more consistent growth of crystals, again slower cooling during the recrystallisation process produces more pure crystals. CONCLUSION In conclusion the use of a binding agent (charcoal) made the Recrystallisation process a lot easier/faster, in order to achieve nice looking pure crystals the solute should be left to cool at room temperature and low yield was obtained because of human error, by inconsistent growth due to fact that solute was cooled in ice bath or by inconsistent adsorption of binding agent.

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