How to Acylate Ferrocene Using Acetic Anhydride and Phosphoric Acid

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Ferrocene is an organometallic compound that behaves like a hydrocarbon. Its reactivity allows it to undergo electrophilic aromatic substitution in a similar manner to that of benzene. In this experiment, you will acylate ferrocene using acetic anhydride and phosphoric acid to generate two possible products.

Reaction Workup

Combine 200 mg of ferrocene with 1 mL of acetic anhydride and 0 mL of phosphoric acid in a reaction tube. Stir and heat to reflux for 10 minutes. The reaction mixture should have a yellow color during the reaction. You should note the color of the reaction during this process so you can identify it when you collect your product.

After collecting your product, run a column chromatography to separate it. You will spot a different sample on each tick mark of the TLC plate. The sample spotted on the first tick mark is the pure product and you will then be able to use that as your reference for the remaining spots on the TLC plate. You will then be able to use the corresponding number to determine your product molecular weight.