The transformations that join two molecules to produce a larger molecule and smaller molecule, is known as condensation reaction. Aldol reactions join two carbonyl containing molecules connects two carbonyl-containing molecules together forming a new carbon-carbon bond between the alpha carbon of one molecule and the carbon of the carbonyl of the second molecule (Weissermel and Arpe, 1997). This result to the formation of a beta hydroxyl carbonyl compound and when this product undergoes a subsequent dehydration, an aldol condensation reaction will occur (Weissermel and Arpe, 1997). The aldol condensation reaction is a simple nucleophilic addition reaction between an enolate ion and a carbonyl group. The base present, which is potassium hydroxide in this instead, abstracts an alpha-hydrogen from a carbonyl compound forms an enolate (Perrin and Chang, 2016). This hydrogen is particularly acidic due to the resonance stabilization of the resulting enolate (Perrin and Chang, 2016).
A convenient way to synthesize a functionalized larger molecule from smaller starting reagents is through a condensation reactions. These reactions are often utilized in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, coatings and plastic (Weissermel and Arpe, 1997). The aldol condensation reaction serves an important role in most biochemical reactions, such as the metabolic degradation of Glucose, where Fructose-1,6-bisphosphate into Glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate and Dihydroxyacetone phosphate (Noziêre and Cordova, 2008). P-Anisaldehyde is widely used in the fragrance and flavor industry. It is also used as an intermediate in the synthesis o compounds that are important in pharmaceuticals and perfumery (Fahlbusch et al., 2011). In this experiment, a base-catalyzed condensation reaction using p-Anisaldehyde and Cyclopentanone is performed.