Microwave Assisted Green Synthesis of Aspirin From Over The Counter Pain Creams
Published: April 3, 2014
Green chemistry, which has become a popular area of research, aims to devise processes that reduce or eliminate the production of harmful or hazardous substances (1). The isolation of methyl salicylate from over the counter pain creams, and its subsequent conversion to aspirin, while eliminating harmful reagents, was explored. Using microwave synthesis and green solvents (sodas and fruit juices) in place of sulfuric acid, salicylic acid (obtained via hydrolysis of methyl salicylate) was successfully converted to aspirin at an average researcher yield of 55% (individual yields were dependent on type of soda/juice). The successful synthesis was tested with first semester undergraduate organic chemistry students during the Fall 2013 semester, as a multi-week experiment. Student obtained results and yields were comparable, if not better.