Many of the chemicals we use as drugs, flavourings and perfumes originate from natural sources but often the most economical way of obtaining them is to produce them artificially on an industrial scale.
In this activity students find out about the chemical that gives vanilla its popular flavour - vanillin. They analyse the chemical pathway used to make vanillin from benzene and discuss the economic and environmental impacts of its manufacture.
- Students apply knowledge of organic synthesis to the manufacture of an unfamiliar molecule
- Students evaluate an industrial process.