Why must water be removed during esterification?
If you look at an alkanol and a carboxylic acid, you can see that, as they are, the two molecules cannot bond covalently. Only Hydrogen bonds are present, so they remain as two separate molecules. To form the ester – which is one molecule – these two molecules need to modify their functional groups to enable them to bond covalently and to form the ester linkage C-O-C=O So that the carbon of the carboxyl group can bond with the oxygen of the alkanol, the two hydrogens and the water – H20 – must be condensed out to free up electrons to form the covalent bond. This is my first yahoo answer.