Can't we perform Fischer esterification using methanol to make a methyl ester from a carboxylic acid?
If so, why might we use diazomethane? Would the release of nitrogen gas confer an entropic advantage to the reaction? As I understand, the Fischer esterification process is an equilibrium process and at equilibrium there is often significant amounts of both product and reactant. So we might have to add excess alcohol to drive the reaction to the right.
I ask because my book just presents the use of diazomethane as a way of making methyl esters without any discussion of why might someone do this rather than just use a few gallons of methanol.
On the other hand I know from working in a research lab that methanol is poisonous and protocol calls for its use in a fume hood ... could that be another reason? On the other hand diazomethane is also toxic (and explosive to boot) ... so I would definitely be inclined to use that in a fume hood (perhaps more so than when using methanol).