Synthesis of Veratraldehyde

Veratraldehyde is synthesized by Schotten-Baumann methylation of vanillin. Dissolve 250 g of vanillin in dry 750 mL methanol stir vigorously and add 70 g of sodium hydroxide. When the white sodium salt of vanillin separates, add 250 g of methyl sulfate. As soon as the reaction starts, add further 200 g of methyl sulfate, the solution must be kept alkaline by adding add small portions of aqueous 50% sodium hydroxide. After 30 minutes, add very cold water until all of the veratraldehyde has precipitated. Recrystallize in ethanol.


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