We did an experiment with the synthesis of n-butyl bromide, using n-butyl alcohol, NaBr, and H2SO4. The question is: Aqueous sodium bicarbonate was used to wash the crude n-butyl bromide. A) What was the purpose of this wash? Give Equations. I know it was used to remove any remaining acid or n-butyl alcohol, but I don't know what it means by give equations? Please help. Also, B) Why would it be undesirable to wash the crude halide with aqueous sodium hydroxide? I think this has something to do with them possibly being able to react? Please Help.
The bicarbonate is used to wash the product because you want to remove the H2SO4 from the reaction.
H2SO4 + NaHCO3 ==> H2O + CO2 + Na2CO3 but you need to balance it.
Washing the alkyl halide with a strong base such as NaOH risks dehydrohalogenation (removal of HX---in this case HBr) to produce the alkene.
Thanks, but what happened to the S in the equation? There needs to be one in the products to balance.