Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science






This paper discusses the mechanisms of base catalyzed hydrolysis of the secondary-butyl ester of 2, 2-dimethyl-propanoic acid (secondary-butyl pivaloate). Kinetic studies were carried out at 53° and near neutral hydroxide ion concentrations, but due to the slow velocity of reaction, no conclusions concerning the order of the kinetics of hydrolysis could be drawn. Also discussed is a scheme for an experiment involving the utilization of 018 enriched water in the saponification reaction of secondary-butyl pivolate under similar conditions of pH and temperature. The purpose of this experiment is to determine the site of oxygen cleavage during the hydrolysis. The analysis is carried out by a Hewlett—Parkard System 5992 Gas Chromatograph/ Mass Spectrometer. As of the data of submission of this thesis, the results of this experiment are known; the data this experiment provides, along with a discussion concerning their significance, will be added to the body of this thesis at a later date.