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Question About Synthesis of Salicylic Acid

In the synthesis of salicylic acid, what is the function of NaOH?

I think that it acts as a electrophile. Is that correct? Does it also Deprotonate methyl salicylate ? Act as a Nucleophile? Act as a catalyst?

Thank you for your help.

Solution Summary

A question about the mechanism of hydrolysis of methyl salicylate forming salicylic acid is answered.