Acetanilide can be produced by reacting acetic anhydride with aniline:


The preparation used to be a traditional experiment in introductory organic chemistry lab classes, but it has now been widely replaced by the preparation of either paracetamol or aspirin, both of which teach the same practical techniques (especially recrystallization of the product) but which avoid the use of aniline, a suspected carcinogen.

Acetanilide is slightly soluble in water, and stable under most conditions. Pure crystals are plate shaped and colorless to white.

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