Carboxylic Acids & Esters

Carboxylic acids are weak acids but will liberate CO2 from carbonates.

Carboxylic acids and alcohols react together, in the presence of a strong acid catalyst, to give esters.

Esters often have characteristic fruity smells ( think of fruit flavoured sweets).

Esters are used as solvents, plasticisers and food flavourings.

Esters can be hydrolysed into their component acids and alcohols.

This is important in the production of soap, glycerol and higher fatty acids from naturally-occurring esters.