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Esters

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  • Esters are chemical compounds consisting of a carbonyl adjacent to an ether linkage.
    They are derived by reacting an oxoacid with a hydroxyl compound such as an alcohol or phenol.
    Esters are usually derived from an inorganic acid or organic acid in which at least one -OH (hydroxyl) group is replaced by an -O-alkyl (alkoxy) group, and most commonly from carboxylic acids and alcohols.

  • That is, esters are formed by condensing an acid with an alcohol. Esters are ubiquitous. Most naturally occurring fats and oils are the fatty acid esters of glycerol. Esters with low molecular weight are commonly used as fragrances and found in essential oils and pheromones.

  • Phosphoesters form the backbone of DNA molecules. Nitrate esters, such as nitroglycerin, are known for their explosive properties, while polyesters are important plastics, with monomers linked by ester moieties.

  • Esters are derived from carboxylic acids. A carboxylic acid contains the -COOH group, and in an ester the hydrogen in this group is replaced by a hydrocarbon group of some kind.  This could be an alkyl group like methyl or ethyl, or one containing a benzene ring like phenyl.

  • In chemistry, esters are organic compounds in which an organic group replaces the hydrogen atom of a hydroxyl group in an oxoacid. A molecule of an oxoacid has an -OH (OH) group from which the hydrogen (H) can dissociate as an H+ion.
    Many esters have distinctive odors and flavors, leading to their use as artificial flavorings and fragrances.

  • The most common esters are the carboxylate esters, where the acid in question is a carboxylic acid.
    For example, if the acid is acetic acid, the ester is called an acetate. Stable esters such as carbamates, RO(CO)NHR', and dialkyl carbonates, RO(CO)OR, can be formed from unstable carbamic acid or carbonic acid, respectively.

  • Esters may also be formed with inorganic acids dimethyl sulfate is an ester, and sometimes called "sulfuric acid, dimethyl ester."
    The use of phosphate ester-based products in hydraulic applications is principally dictated by fire-risk considerations.

     

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