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Topic: Soap  (Read 2909 times)

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Offline cliverlong

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Soap
« on: March 28, 2009, 08:06:19 AM »
Soap

Hi,

   Is the following correct for creation of soap?

1)Take a lipid or fat. Structure: Glycerol backbone, a triol alcohol. Carboxylic acids linked to glycerol backbone by ester bonds
2)Hydrolyse the ester bonds using sodium hydroxide solution. This creates glycerol and sodium carboxylate salt (in aqueous solution)
3)Separate (how?) the glycerol from the sodium carboxylate salt
4)The sodium carboxylate is the soap (??). The sodium end of the molecule is soluble in water (hydrophilic). The other end of salt is soluble in organic molecules (hydrophobic)
5)The hydrophobic end dissolves into fats and the hydrophobic end dissolves into water. The effect is to break up the fats and oils attached to the fibres of the fabric or the body and this removes the dirt which washes away in water.

Thanks

Clive

Offline ARGOS++

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Re: Soap
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2009, 08:41:41 AM »

Dear cliverlong;

Use the following pages for verification and to answer the separation question too:
                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saponification 
                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soap    

Good Luck!
                    ARGOS++

Offline Arkcon

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Re: Soap
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2009, 08:44:30 AM »
Yep. That's all pretty much correct.  I'd made soap, in basic chem labs, and I'd tried it, in my kitchen.  A quick Google for soap making recipes will give you an answer, for how we separate soap from glycerol.  But those "cookbooks" won't tell you -- why it works.  But when you, a chemist read it, you might get an insight.  Try it and see.  You'll be better off, if you get the "A-ha" burst, instead of us just dumping the answer in your lap.
Hey, I'm not judging.  I just like to shoot straight.  I'm a man of science.

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