I did an esterification experiment of 1-butanol and ethanoic acid.
30 mL of 1-butanol was added followed by 30 mL of ethanoic acid, and then 1.5 mL of concentrated sulphuric acid and some boiling chips.
The mixture was colorless at first. However, it turned brown during the reflux of esterification immediately after heating the solution, and the solution had a burnt fruity smell.
I suspect this is because I didn't swirl the mixture before heating. Also, before heating, the bottom of the round bottom-flask felt warm, and I suspect this could be the reaction between the concentrated sulphuric acid and ethanoic acid.
One thing that I can't seem to understand is, how did the color of the solution turn brown? Could it be that the product of the reaction between sulphuric acid and ethanoic acid reacted with the 1-butanol to produce a colored solution?
P.s: I couldn't obtain any pure ester after the distillation of the ester as the temperature didn't rise above 100 °C.