Sterification for fragances


Im aiming to make simple fragances for household products vía sterification, i have the equiment but muy budget is short, i can buy some ingredients but i want to know if someone has an experience making esters for fragances so can giveme a hint to helpme choose the right material for beging, keeping in mind that i can only buy 50lb bags or 400lb drums of raw material so i have to be careful choosing.

Ácidos availables: citric, acetic, láctic, oxalic, propionic, boric, ascorbic, phosporic, malic, oleic, bezoic.

Alcohols: methyl, ethyl, propyl, glycerol, propylenglycol, Benzyl, sorbitol


  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    Do you have any idea at all what you're doing? I wouldn't attempt that myself, given that fragrances for household products are usually not very expensive. I've tried this myself in a school lab when I was teaching chemistry. I remember making wintergreen (methyl salicylate) it was pretty easy. But some fragrances require difficult-to-handle materials. Have you ever smelt butyric acid?
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • @Belassi hello how are you?, Well, im not trying to compete with giuvadan, im only aiming to make some esters for simple products like floor desifentants, im  not aiming to sell they, Just to use use for my own products, in your country is easy and maybe cheap to buy fragances, but in my country there almost no way to buy fragances locally, and the shipment are very expensive, we are blocked from Usa and their allies.

    I have made esters in lab, and i have the equiment yo make 150kg batch, a small stainless steel 200l reactor with, mixing reflux, condenser and heating capabilities. Im ussing it right now to destil Orange and lemon oil.
  • I mean i just want a tip ti beging sterification. I mean i cant afford buying all those rawmaterials Just to try all the mixes, for example there are a lot of esters that smell like Banana for example, nobody wanta banana smell on the floor. On the other Hand according to a little of research on internet It seams that there are a lot of esters that smell like cherry, well if someone can help me to select an Acid and alcohol ti beging i Will vevery grareful.

    I was aiming to make Benzyl acetate, It seams to have a pleasant jazmín odor.
  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    Oh yes sorry I forgot the horrendous problems you have.
    I've only done it at lab scale and it was a long time ago. I always ended up with salt content after neutralising the proton donor. 
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    If you can reflux, you don't need much catalyst (usually an acid or base), just a way to constantly removing water from the equation, How are you going to do that? Do you have something like a Dean-Stark apparatus?
    There is no point in telling you which acid and alcohol you should take to get a certain fragrance if you can't buy one or both educts. Might be easier if you looked up the acids and alcohols available to you, 'combine' them in theory and look up their scents on the internet. If you need help with determining the right chemical names of said products, don't hesitate asking.
    Regarding the list you provided:
    - Esters usually without odour and/or taste (mainly due to too low volatility): Citric, oxalic, ascorbic, phosporic, and oleic acid, glycerol, propylenglycol, and sorbitol
    - Useless as odour compound because lewis acid and toxic: boric acid (also, playing with oxalic acid might result in something toxic)
    - Often not a very strong odour: malic and lactic acid esters. Although, diethyl malate has a fruity taste ;) .
    - Form fragrant esters: acetic, propionic, bezoic acid, methyl, ethyl, propyl, and benzyl alcohol -> This results in 12 possible candidates of which methyl, ethyl, and propyl acetate are useless as odour compounds (although they're not scentless). Propionic and benzoic acid esters of the four alcohols all have an odour (benzyl benzoate only slightly but is a good perfume fixative). You can look up all on Wikipedia.
    Which propyl alcohol do you have? n-Propyl or isopropyl?
    BTW: Phosphoric acid can be used as acid catalyst.
  • @Pharma thanks you very much for your input, all your informatión gives me a start, i can buy any of all the products i listed. I just cant afford yo buy all of them. So listening to tour recomendation i Will try:

    Methyl,ethyl and isopropil Benzoate
    Methyl,ethyl and isopropil Propionate

    I have a Dean-stark alike aparatus to remover excess wáter, buying Sulhpuric Acid and/or chlorhidric was a pain, and It has so Many regulations on my country because they are used un the production of cocaine, is a good news to know that i can use phosphoric
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