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Lanie Lilly Carroll Community College

Course: Organic Chemistry 1, CHEM-201
Dr. Raza Khan
Assignment Title:
Alkene Synthesis from an Alcohol

Assignment Details

This is an organic chemistry lab report focusing on dehydrating an alcohol to form an alkene, in this case, dehydrating cyclohexanol to form cyclohexene. A dehydration reaction requires heat and an acid catalyst. This was done with simple distillation and the use of the acid catalyst 85% phosphoric acid.


I could use this process of distilling the cyclohexanol to form the cyclohexene similarly in other chemicals, because there are a vast range of similar situations. I could also redo this one specifically to get better results. This could be achieved by doing multiple trials of this experiment. Having two separate distillations was good during this one; however, it would be helpful to have more in the future, and more care should be taken for less experimental error.


I learned that through distillation and the use of an acid catalyst, an alkene can be obtained from an alcohol. I was only able to get a 53.5% recovery of the alkene, but with less experimental error it should be higher, around 75-80%. Having several trials of the experiment would be helpful to get these better results. But there was some amount of success in part of the alcohol, cyclohexanol, producing the alkene, cyclohexene.

Challenges and Successes

While I successfully obtained some of the alkene cyclohexene, the challenge I was not able to overcome was obtaining a large enough percentage yield of it. It would never be a perfect 100% yield due to experimental error in the distillation or possible contamination; however, it should be reasonably high. It would be interesting to redo the experiment, now having done it once before, to see if I could get better results.