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Soap Lab
Procedure
Preparation of Smar
1. Measure 23 ml of 23 g of a vegetable oil into a 250 ml Erlenmeyer flask.
Add 40 mL of 3 M NaOH in ethanol/water 50:50. While stirring the mixture constantly
with a glass rod, the flask with its contents is heated gently in a boiling water bath.
2.
ulation
as the water bath.
3. A 600 ml beaker containing about 200 mL of tap water and two boiling chips can serve
4. After being heated for about 20 min, the odor of the alcohol will disappear, indicating
the completion of the reaction. A patsy mass containing a mixture of the soap,
glycerol and excess sodium hydroxide is obtained.
5. Use an ice-water bath to cool the flask with its contents. To precipitate or salt out
the soap, add 150 mL of a saturated sodium chloride solution to the soap mixture
while stirring vigorously. This process increases the density of the aqueous solution,
therefore, soap will float on it.
6. Decant the water from the precipitated soap, or filter it through 4 ply cheesecloth (or
a handkerchief. Wash it with 3 x 10 mL of ice-cold water, physically separating the
soap as much as possible between washes.
7. Squeeze out as much water as possible.
Testing
1. Dissolve a pea-sized amount of soap in 5 mL of deionized water in a test tube. Also do
this with a pea-sized amount of Ivory soap.
a. Test the pH of each of them with wide-range pH paper.
2. Dissolve a small amount of the wet soap in 35 mL of deionized water. We will use this
for testing the emulsifying properties and behavior in hard water.
a. Place 4 drops of mineral oil into two separate tubes.
b. Add 5 mL of deionized water to 1 test tube and 5 mL of the soap mixture to the
other.
C. Shake each tube vigorously for about 1 min.
d. Observe the degree of oil emulsification in each tube as indicated by the
presence of suds and the absence of oil droplets in the liquid or the absence of
oil scum on the inside of the test tubes. Describe the difference between the
two tubes.
3. Using the soap solution made in step 2,
a. Place 5 mL of soap solution in each of five test tubes.
b. Add 2 mL of aqueous CaCl2 to the soap mixture in the first test tube, Add 2 mL
of 1\% aqueous MgCl2 to the soap mixture of the second test tube and 2 mL of 1\%
aqueous FeCl3 to the soap mixture of the third. In the fourth test tube add
regular tap water, and to the 5th distilled water.
c. Mix each tube and note whether a precipitate is formed.
ously. Note how the
12
questions
1.
This is a Word document. Please reformat if needed and type in your answers were possible.
Describe the appearance of your soap.
Compare it to the commercial soap.
2. How would you describe the alkalinity of your soap? Very basic, somewhat basic etc.?
3. In the emulsification test, what was the difference in appearance between the tube
with water and the one with the soap mixture?
4. In the test with the ions, were there any differences in appearances between the
solutions with the different metal ions? How did the solutions with the tap water and
distilled water compare? (Is the tap water hard or soft? Justify your answer.)
5. Draw a line structure representing palmitic acid. (Look up the structure.)
a. Show which end is polar and which is non-polar.

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