Title

Saponification of Triglycerides and Sodium Hydroxide in the Soap-Making Process

Poster Number

05B

Lead Author Major

Biochemistry

Lead Author Status

Sophomore

Second Author Major

Biochemistry

Second Author Status

Senior

Third Author Major

Chemistry

Third Author Status

Senior

Format

Poster Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Liang Xue

Faculty Mentor Email

lxue@pacific.edu

Faculty Mentor Department

Chemistry

Abstract/Artist Statement

The synthesis of soap is achieved through the process of saponification. Saponification is an exothermic chemical reaction that occurs between fats or oils and a base. All fats and oils are composed of triglycerides that react when in contact with a strong base to produce glycerol and soap molecules. This is a fundamental reaction taught in organic chemistry, but we never had the opportunity to make soaps in the lab. Herein, we sought to establish a soap lab at Pacific that helps to apply knowledge learned in class to real-world applications. In the present work, we experimented with olive, coconut, canola, and vegetable oils with the goal of producing soap with a pH of approximately 7 and maximum cleaning efficiency. Our results suggest that coconut oil hardened the most quickly but has the worst cleaning efficiency, while vegetable oil hardened the slowest but had powerful cleaning ability. Therefore, we combine the olive oil with vegetable oil in a 2:1 ratio, producing soap with optimum cleaning ability and acceptable hardening time. The soap samples and the test data will be presented.

Location

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom

Start Date

28-4-2018 1:00 PM

End Date

28-4-2018 3:00 PM

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Apr 28th, 1:00 PM Apr 28th, 3:00 PM

Saponification of Triglycerides and Sodium Hydroxide in the Soap-Making Process

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom

The synthesis of soap is achieved through the process of saponification. Saponification is an exothermic chemical reaction that occurs between fats or oils and a base. All fats and oils are composed of triglycerides that react when in contact with a strong base to produce glycerol and soap molecules. This is a fundamental reaction taught in organic chemistry, but we never had the opportunity to make soaps in the lab. Herein, we sought to establish a soap lab at Pacific that helps to apply knowledge learned in class to real-world applications. In the present work, we experimented with olive, coconut, canola, and vegetable oils with the goal of producing soap with a pH of approximately 7 and maximum cleaning efficiency. Our results suggest that coconut oil hardened the most quickly but has the worst cleaning efficiency, while vegetable oil hardened the slowest but had powerful cleaning ability. Therefore, we combine the olive oil with vegetable oil in a 2:1 ratio, producing soap with optimum cleaning ability and acceptable hardening time. The soap samples and the test data will be presented.