Aspirin to Acetaminophen - Part 1 of 6: Extracting Aspirin from Pills | Summary and Q&A

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November 3, 2016
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Aspirin to Acetaminophen - Part 1 of 6: Extracting Aspirin from Pills

TL;DR

Extracting Aspirin from pills using acetone for a conversion process to Tylenol, with a focus on yield and efficiency.

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Key Insights

  • 💊 Aspirin (Acetylsalicylic Acid) can be extracted from pills using acetone as a solvent.
  • 😒 It is important to use brand-name Aspirin without dyes to avoid color contamination.
  • ❓ Filtration issues can arise during the extraction process, causing ASA precipitation and blockage of the filter funnel.
  • ❓ Distillation and vacuum evaporation are effective methods for recovering acetone and obtaining purified ASA.
  • 😅 Recrystallization from a hot solution allows for the separation of impurities from ASA.
  • 🌸 The yield of extracted ASA was approximately 94 grams, with potential losses throughout the process.
  • ❓ The extracted ASA will be further hydrolyzed into salicylic acid as part of a future acid hydrolysis.

Transcript

Today we're going to be extracting some Aspirin from pills. Aspirin is the well known brand name, but the common chemical name is Acetylsalicylic Acid, or ASA for short. Extracting the active ingredient from pills can be a fun exercise on it's own, but I actually plan to use the ASA in a pretty lengthy synthesis. My goal is to convert Aspirin to Ty... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What is the purpose of extracting Aspirin from pills?

The purpose is to obtain the active ingredient, Acetylsalicylic Acid (ASA), to use in a conversion process to Tylenol.

Q: Why is it recommended to use brand-name Aspirin without dyes?

Brand-name Aspirin often contains dyes that may affect the purity of ASA. To avoid color contamination, using dye-free brands is preferable.

Q: What issues arose during the filtration process?

The vacuum filtration process encountered problems due to stronger vacuum pressure caused by the inclusion of solids, resulting in ASA precipitation and blockage of the filter funnel.

Q: How was the recovery of ASA achieved?

After several washing steps, acetone was evaporated off through distillation. Remaining acetone was removed using a vacuum, and ASA was transferred, washed, and dried for recovery.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The content focuses on extracting Aspirin (Acetylsalicylic Acid) from pills using acetone as a solvent.

  • The goal is to convert Aspirin to Tylenol through a sequential degradation process, taking advantage of their common precursor, phenol.

  • The extraction process involves crushing the pills, mixing with acetone, heating to boiling point, filtration, and recrystallization to obtain purified Aspirin.

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