When a carboxylic acid reacts with alcohol, pleasant fruity-smelling compounds, esters are formed. This process is called esterification. Esterification can be regarded as the transformation of carboxylic acids or their derivatives into esters as carried out in many natural products synthesis, in the protection or kinetic resolution of carboxylic acids and in the fatty acids industry.
Fischer esterification after the German chemist, Emil Fischer (1852–1919). An example of Fischer esterification is the treatment of acetic acid with ethanol in the presence of concentrated sulfuric acid, which gives ethyl acetate and water.
A compound in which the -OH of a carboxyl group, RCOOH, is replaced by an alkoxy or aryloxy group Fischer esterification The process of forming an ester by refluxing a carboxylic acid and an alcohol in the presence of an acid catalyst commonly sulfuric acid.