How does sulfuric acid catalyze the preparation of esters?
Because it is very hygroscopic.
It litterally tears out
As you might know, esterization is the combination of a alkanoic acid (
It goes like this:
This is an equilibrium reaction. If you remove one of the reaction products (in this case water) the reaction will shift to the right.
Note: in this view, sulfuric acid is not really a catalyst, because it changes (becomes more diluted) in the process.