Hydrolysis of esters

The following statement describes the assessable content for this sub-section, as described in the SQA arrangement documents.

Esters can be hydrolysed to produce a carboxylic acid and alcohol. Given the name of an ester or its structural formula, the hydrolysis products can be named and their structural formulae drawn. The parent carboxylic acid and the parent alcohol can be obtained by hydrolysis of an ester. In a hydrolysis reaction, a molecule reacts with water breaking down into smaller molecules.
 

Animations

Esterification

Chemistry animation - Esterification

This animation illustrates the process of ester formation by the condensation of a carboxylic acid and an alcohol. It also looks at the reverse process of ester hydrolysis.