To synthesize the common pain reliever: acetaminophen (paracetamol)
To determine the purity of acetaminophen.
Acetaminophen is an amide, a compound that is a derivative of ammonia that has been reacted with an acidic
substance, in this case, acetic acid. Acetaminophen acts as a fever reducer and pain reliever. It can be found in
several analgesic preparations, such as Tylenol, some of which may contain other ingredients such as caffeine and
Qualitatively, the purity of an acetaminophen sample can be determined from its melting point. The
melting point of a substance is essentially independent of atmospheric pressure, but it is always lowered by the
presence of impurities (a colligative property of pure substances). The degree of lowering of the melting point
depends on the nature and the concentration of the impurities.
Wear safety glasses or goggles at all times in the laboratory.
Acetic anhydride is corrosive and its vapor is irritating to the respiratory system. Avoid skin contact and inhalation
of the vapors. In the event of skin contact, rinse well with cold water. If the vapors are inhaled, move to an area
where fresh air is available.
Sulfuric acid is corrosive. Avoid skin contact. In the event of skin contact, rinse well with cold water.
p-aminophenol is harmful by inhalation and by contact with the skin. In the event of skin contact, rinse well with
cold water. If the vapors are inhaled, move to an area where fresh air is available.
THE PREPARATION OF ACETAMINOPHEN