The purpose of this experiment is to synthesize isopentyl acetate (3-methylbutyl acetate) via an esterification reaction between acetic acid and isopentyl alcohol (3-methylbutanol), using concentrated sulfuric acid as a catalyst.

We’ve just identified isopentyl alcohol as our limiting reagent – the reactant that will determine the theoretical yield of our product. So even though we have 0.12 moles of acetic acid, at most, we can only make 0.046 moles of banana oil because that’s how much isopentyl alcohol we have.