Date of Award

Spring 1946

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




New fields of research are ever opening long before old ones are fully explored. The subject of this thesis lies in both the old and the new, touching, in the former, the process and experimental work of the esterification of high-molecular weight compounds, and, in the latter, some of the compounds of the recent and unique polyethylene glycols. With the advent of these glycols, there opens a new field of research which will bring ample reward to those who exploit it. In the last few years these compounds have made their way swiftly into industry where they have become firmly established. My interest was drawn to them in the first place by Doctor Heinrich, who suggested that I prepare a solvent for eosin (tetrabromofluorescein) as outlined by Doctor Coutinho. Involved in this preparation are, first, the acetylation of ricinoleic acid in order to protect the dydroxyl group; second, the amplification of the solvent power of the polyethylene glycol molecule by replacing the hydrogen of one of the terminal hydroxyl groups by a benzyl group; and third, the esterification of the other hydroxyl group of the polyethylene glycol with the acetylated ricinoleic acid. The first and second of these steps presented only the usual difficulties, but a preliminary scanning of the literature for directions about the third step revealed little that could actually be used in this case. My present problem evidently lay in the laboratory conditions for the esterification of the polyethylene glycols with high molecular weight fatty acids.