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Question 3.24: Taxol, known generically as paclitaxel, is a molecular compo...

Taxol, known generically as paclitaxel, is a molecular compound used in the treatment of cancer. It was originally isolated from the bark of the Pacific yew tree (Figure 3.39) and subsequently has been synthesized in the laboratory.

a. The yew tree provides about 100 mg of Taxol for every 1.00 kg of bark. If 1 tree has about 3 kg of bark and 9000 trees were needed to isolate enough Taxol for its first clinical trial, how many grams of Taxol were used for those initial tests?

b. One of the laboratory syntheses of Taxol begins with camphor (78.89\% C;  10.59\% H;  \mathscr{M}= 152.23  g/mol) and requires 23 different chemical reactions in sequence to convert it into Taxol (66.11\% C;  6.02\% H;  1.64\% N;  \mathscr{M} = 853.88  g/mol). The overall yield of the process to produce 1 mole of Taxol, starting with 1 mole camphor, is 0.10%. (i) What are the molecular formulas of camphor and Taxol? (ii) How much camphor must one use to make the amount of Taxol provided by 9000 trees?

FIGURE 3.39
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