Experiment 8: Making Soap: Base-Catalyzed Hydrolysis of a TriglycerideGabrielle PazminoKerry JonesChem 106 Lab Section DMarch 24, 2016
AbstractThe purpose of this experiment is to perform a saponification reaction to prepare a simple soap from a vegetable oil. You will test the emulsifying properties of the soap and investigate what happens to soap in hard or acidic water. The properties of the prepared soap will be studied and comparisons will be made between the soaps produced from different types of oils. Using sunflower oil, soap was produced. The physical properties of the soap using sunflower oil were foamy and a light yellow color. This was very different from groups that used other oils, such as flax seed oil, which had properties like yellow, thick, chunky, and moist. To test the emulsifying properties, a test tube with just mineral oil and water was compared to a test tube with mineral oil and water with soap. The test tube with just mineral oil and water was clear and the oil was insoluble in the water, whereas the test tube with mineral oil and water with soap was cloudy andthe contents were mixed together. This showed that the soap was an emulsifier. Next, it was found that the water was hard because the soap did not mix with the solution in each of the test tubes and formed precipitates. Lastly, the pH for the soap solution was found to be 10, which is basic.BackgroundSaponification is the reaction that begins with oil or a fat and the product is soap. Saponificationcomes from the Greek work for soap, sapon. This is what happens when the oil or fat is exposed to heat under basic conditions and it decomposes and produces soap. A fatty acid contains a carboxylic acid group with a long carbon chain. The carbon chain can vary in length and may or may not contain double bonds. When it does contain double bonds it is known as an unsaturated fat. If there are only single bonds it is called a saturated fat.