Fredrik in Grade 12 is finalising his internal assessment for chemistry. He is measuring the amount of banana ester, used in candies for example, after refluxing (boiling without loss of vapour) the reacting chemicals, for varying amounts of time. A new tool in Ms. Tuppeny’s class, a mini gas chromatograph, allows for separating, analyzing, and identifying substances contained in a volatile liquid or gaseous sample.
Fredrik first made the banana ester by reacting an alcohol with ethanoic acid, purifying and distilling the final product before injecting a very small sample into the machine. His experiment proves that boiling longer makes the process more efficient and provides more product.