Synthesis of Benzil

Pour 30 mL of conc. nitric acid to a flask then with vigorous stirring add 10 g of benzoin. Then start to heat the solution to about 70°C, after 15 minutes let the solution cool for 3 minutes. Add 50 mL of cold water with stirring, allow to stand for 15 minutes, filter and wash with 100 mL of water. Then recrystallize with near boiling ethanol.

Source

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The nitric acid

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Addition of the benzoin

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Heating the mixture

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Adding water to the mixture

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The crude benzil separated out, filter

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Recrystallization from ethanol

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The pure product

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