Soaps+and+Detergents+Project - ACS Chemistry Laboratory...

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ACS Chemistry Laboratory Supplement Project-Based Labs Soaps and Detergents Page 1 Synthesis and Environmental Impacts of Soaps and Detergents Introduction Your group has been sent to a remote mountain region where life is still primitive. The people use traditional lye soaps, which have been identified a possible source of pollution. The soap that has always been produced in this region is extremely harsh, and many of the people have developed skin rashes from using it. In addition, the soap seems to vary a lot in quality and feel. Sometimes the soap does not lather and instead forms a sort of scum. The government has charged you with the task of working with the people to develop a safer soap making process that will be more environmentally sound, and that will produce a milder soap. Alternatively, you may recommend that the people synthesize and use a detergent instead of soap. Project Tasks 1. Develop and refine a synthesis of soap that gives a product that is mild and lathers well. 2. Develop and refine a synthesis of detergent that gives a product that is mild and lathers well. 3. Identify and minimize environmental problems caused by the syntheses. 4. Compare soap and detergent, for cost, effectiveness, and environmental impact. 5. Identify the substances in the water that seem to affect the action of the soap, such as forming a scum rather than a lather. 6. Suggest and test remedies for the “scum problem”. Learning and Performance Objectives 1 . Understand the principles of solubility and be able to predict the solubility of given compounds from their structure. 2. Understand the relationships between organic functional groups such as carboxylic acids, esters, and sulfonic acids. 3. Understand the chemical and physical differences between carboxylic acids and their salts. 4. Use complexing agents such as EDTA in solubilizing compounds. 5. Use a titration to solve a “real world” problem. 6. Handle solutions of concentrated acids and bases safely. Resources Available 1. A general soap synthesis that you can use as the basis for your product development 2. A detergent synthesis that might be used as an alternative 3. List of available starting materials for synthesis of a soap and a detergent 4. Collected samples of the water used for washing and rinsing
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Project-Based Labs ACS Chemistry Laboratory Supplement Page 2 Soaps and Detergents Reports 1. Planning sheets are to be completed as directed by your instructor. 2. The final report for this project should follow the basic guidelines given previously. Be sure to include: a. observations and other results from all group experiments. b. your judgment as to which soap is preferable. c. your judgment as to whether the soap or the detergent is more useful to help the people in this remote mountain region. 3.
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This note was uploaded on 01/26/2011 for the course CHEM 1310 taught by Professor Cox during the Spring '08 term at Georgia Institute of Technology.

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Soaps+and+Detergents+Project - ACS Chemistry Laboratory...

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