Purification–Recrystallisation of Benzoic Acid, Chemistry tutorial

Purification -Recrystallisation of Benzoic Acid


a)  To purify examples of organic compounds those are solids at room temperature 

b)  To dissociate the impure model in the minimum amount of an appropriate hot solvent 

Equipment / materials:


Table: Equipment / Materials for Purification - Recrystallisation of Benzoic Acid


The products of chemical reactions can be contaminated. Purification of our products must be executed to remove via-products and impurities. Liquids are customarily purified through distillation, while solids are purified through recrystallisation (sometimes termed simply "crystallization").

Recrystallisation is a technique of purifying a solid. There are 2 kinds of impurities: those more soluble in a following solvent than the major component and those less soluble. (If there are any impurities that contain similar solubility as the chief component, then a different solvent requires to be chosen).

Whenever organic substances are synthesized in the laboratory or isolated from plants, they will obviously contain impurities. Numerous techniques for purifying such compounds have been developed. The most essential of such techniques for the purification of organic solids is recrystallisation, which relies on the diverse solubilities of solutes in a solvent. Compounds, which are less soluble, crystallise first. The crystallization procedure itself helps in the purification since as the crystals form, they select the correct molecules, which fit into the crystal lattice and ignore the wrong molecules. This is of course not a perfect procedure, but it does amplify the purity of the final product. 

The solubility of the compound in the solvent utilized for recrystallisation is significant. In the idyllic case, the solvent would entirely dissolve the compound to be purified at high temperature (generally the boiling point of the solvent), and the compound would be wholly insoluble in that solvent at room temperature or at zero oC. In addition, the impurity either would be entirely insoluble in the particular solvent at the high temperature, or would be extremely soluble in the solvent at low temperature. In the former case, the impurity could be filtered off at high temperature, while in the second case the impurity would completely stay in solution upon cooling. In the factual world, this will never occur and recrystallisation is a method that has to be practiced and perfected.

Regardless of crystallization technique, the purity of the solid can be demonstrated via taking the melting point.  A good (suitable) recrystallisation solvent will dissolve a huge amount of the impure compound at temperatures near the boiling point of the solvent. Small amount of compound being purified should remain in solution at low temperatures, between around 25 and -5oC. Low solubility at low temperatures reduces the amount of purified compound that will be vanished throughout recrystallisation.

A suitable recrystallisation solvent should as well be partially volatile in order to be simply getting rid of from the purified crystals. The solvent should not react by the compound being purified and it should contain the boiling point below the melting point of the compound being purified, in order to avoid the compound from melting before dissolving (oiling out). In choosing a good recrystallisation solvent, one should consider flammability, toxicity, and expense. In selecting a solvent consider that 'like likes like'. Polar compounds melt polar compounds and non-polar compounds dissolve non-polar compounds. The most generally utilized recrystallisation solvents are accessible in the given table.

Table: The Most generally utilized Recrystallisation Solvents





Point (oC)



very polar












slightly polar


Diethyl ether


slightly polar


Organic compounds through 1 polar functional group and a low number of carbon atoms these as methanol, ethanol, and n-propanol are extremely soluble (miscible) in water. Such alcohols form hydrogen bond by water due to the polar -OH functional group. As the numeral of carbons per polar functional group enhance, solubility reduces. The solubility of alcohols through 4-5 carbons is given in the following Table.

Table:  The Solubility of Alcohols with Four to Five Carbon Atoms



Solubility (g/100

ml H2O)













Compounds through 6 or more carbons for each polar group will not be extremely soluble in polar solvents but will be soluble in non-polar solvents these as benzene and cyclohexene. If a single solvent can't be originate that is appropriate for recrystallisation, a solvent pair often utilized. The solvents have to be miscible in one another. Several normally utilized solvent pairs are water-ethanol, acetic acid - water, ether-acetone. Classically, the compound being recrystallised will be more soluble in one solvent than the other.  The compound is melted in a minimum amount of the hot solvent in that is more soluble. The subsequent formulae are utilized in solubility difficulties are:

%loss in cold solvent = (solubility in cold solvent/ solubility in hot solvent) * 100%

%recovery of solid = (mass recovered/ mass dissolved)*100%

Working example:

(1)  The solubility of solid 'X' in hot water (5.50 g/100 ml at 100oC) is not extremely huge, and its solubility in cold water (0.53 g/100 ml at 0oC) is significant. What would be the maximum theoretical percent healing from crystallization of 5.00g of solid 'X' from 100 ml water? Assuming the solution is chilled at 0oC.


%loss in cold solvent = (solubility in cold solvent/solubility in hot solvent)*100%

%loss in cold solvent = (0.53/5.50)*100% = 9.64%

%recovery of solid = (mass recovered/mass dissolved)*100%

%recovery of solid = (5.50-0.53)/5.50*100% = 90.4%

(2)  The solubility of compound "X" in ethanol is 0.80 g /100 ml at 0oC and 5.0 g /100 ml at 78o C. What is the least amount volume of ethanol required to recrystallise a 12.0 g model of compound 'X'?   How much would be vanished in the recrystallisation, that is, would continue in the cold solvent? 


Volume of ethanol needed at 78oC = (12.00g/5.00g)*100 ml

  = 240 ml

Mass of sample remaining in the cold solvent at 0oC

 = (240ml/100ml)*0.80g = 1.9g


%loss = (0.80/5.00)*100% = 16%

12.00*16% = 1.92g

The genuine laboratory work we will do is the recrystallisation of benzoic acid from water using the temperature gradient technique. Benzoic acid is not extremely soluble in cold water, but it is soluble in hot water. The reason of this experiment is to study the method of recrystallisation via purifying benzoic acid.   

EXPERIMENT: Recrystallisation of Benzoic Acid

Experimental procedures:

Using a weighing paper, weigh out about 1.0 g of 'polluted Benzoic acid for recrystallisation' and move it to a 125-ml Erlenmeyer flask. Adjoin about 20 ml distilled water, using a regulated cylinder, to the flask and take the mixture to the boiling point through heating on a hot plate, whilst stirring the mixture and boiling kindly to liquefy benzoic acid entirely. ('Figure') benzoic acid solution Erlenmeyer flask hot plate.

797_Dissolving Benzoic Acid.jpg

Fig: Dissolving Benzoic Acid

Take away the flask from the hot plate and observe the solution.  If there are elements of benzoic acid still undissolved, then put in an extra amount of hot or cold water in tiny growths and carry on heating the solution.  The purpose is to dissolve the entire solid in only as much as hot or near boiling solvent (water) as is needed. Don't put in too much water or the solution will not be saturated and the give up of purified benzoic acid will be decreased. Remain adding water in little amounts (numerous drops at a time from a Pasteur pipette) awaiting every one of the benzoic acid is dissolved and the solution is boiling.

If the solution is entirely clear (although not of necessity colourless) and no solid benzoic acid is visible, then adjoin extra 10-15 ml water to the mixture and situate the Erlenmeyer flask on a countertop wherever it will not be disturbed and cover through an upside-down small beaker (to stop dust contamination). Permitting the flask to fresh gradually will provide the best-shaped crystals after about 5-10 minutes.  If crystallization does not occur after 10 minutes, scrape the sides of the flask over the level of the solution through the sharp end of a glass rod hard sufficient to audibly scratch the interior surface of the flask.  This might dislodge several undetectable, tiny crystals which will fall into the solution and 'seed' the solution, assisting to induce crystallization.  A seed crystal can serve up as a nucleation point for the crystallization procedure.  Cooling the solution in an ice bath might as well assist at this point.

Whenever the crystals contain shaped entirely (might needed ice bath), collect our solid chemical via setting up a vacuum (suction) filtration on a appropriately rousted filter paper in a clean Buchner funnel apparatus as explained via our instructor.  

1714_Büchner Funnel and Suction Flask.jpg

Fig: Buchner Funnel and Suction Flask

Pour the cooled mixture into the Buchner funnel. The water should filter rapidly - if not, make sure for vacuum leaks. Obtain every crystal out of the flask using a spatula or stirring rod.   Rinsing through 1 or 2 ml of cold water assists obtains the crystals out of the flask, and rinsing aids eliminate impurities. 

Let the aspirator run for a few minutes to begin air-drying the crystals.  Then employ a spatula to lift the filter paper and crystals out of the Buchner funnel, then compress them as dry as likely on a huge clean paper towel (hand dry), permit them to dry entirely, and move the dry model to a pre-weigh weighing paper. Find out the weight of the dry crystals of improved benzoic acid.

Compute the percent recovered using the given written formula and determine the melting point of our recrystallised benzoic acid.

Tutorsglobe: A way to secure high grade in your curriculum (Online Tutoring)

Expand your confidence, grow study skills and improve your grades.

Since 2009, Tutorsglobe has proactively helped millions of students to get better grades in school, college or university and score well in competitive tests with live, one-on-one online tutoring.

Using an advanced developed tutoring system providing little or no wait time, the students are connected on-demand with an expert at https://www.tutorsglobe.com. Students work one-on-one, in real-time with a tutor, communicating and studying using a virtual whiteboard technology.  Scientific and mathematical notation, symbols, geometric figures, graphing and freehand drawing can be rendered quickly and easily in the advanced whiteboard.

Free to know our price and packages for online chemistry tutoring. Chat with us or submit request at [email protected]

©TutorsGlobe All rights reserved 2022-2023.