Azeotropic Preparation of a C-Phenyl N-Aryl Imine: An Introductory Undergraduate Organic Chemistry Laboratory Experiment

Lee J. Silverberg, David J. Coyle, Kevin C. Cannon, Robert T. Mathers, Jeffrey A. Richards, John Tierney

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3 Scopus citations


Imines are important in biological chemistry and as intermediates in organic synthesis. An experiment for introductory undergraduate organic chemistry is presented in which benzaldehyde was condensed with p-methoxyaniline in toluene to give 4-methoxy-N-(phenylmethylene)benzenamine. Water was removed by azeotropic distillation using a Dean-Stark trap. The reaction was readily performed in one 3 h laboratory period, gave a crystalline product, and was easily followed visually by the amount of water collected. It demonstrated important concepts from second-year undergraduate organic chemistry, including equilibrium processes, condensation reactions, and imine formation. The experiment also gave students exposure to important laboratory techniques including azeotropic distillation, use of a water trap, and mixed-solvent recrystallization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)941-944
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Chemical Education
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 10 2016


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Education

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