What is the function of the acid catalyst in the first step of the fishcher esterification of a carboxylic acid
The Fischer esterification uses sulphuric acid as a catalyst. It protonates the carboxylic acid carbonyl group and not the feature of hydroxyl. The resulting cation is a stable resonance. Because the reaction is a 1:1 reaction (carboxylic acid: alcohol), the limiting reagents are the carboxylic acid.