In the synthesis of aspirin: Why the the reagents have to be dry?

1 Answer
Feb 11, 2018

The synthesis of aspirin requires acetic anhydride.

Acetic anhydride readily reacts with any water it comes in contact with. Even leaving a container of it open can ruin it if there's any humidity in the air.

Any moisture in the flask during the synthesis will split each acetic anhydride molecule into 2 molecules of acetic acid.