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Making soaps and detergents

Description

Castor oil, a source of vegetable oils, reacts with a concentrated alkali to form soaps. Or, it reacts with concentrated acid to form a detergent.

Credits

:
This is an experiment from the Practical Chemistry project, developed by the Nuffield Foundation and the Royal Society of Chemistry.
making-soaps-and-detergen...



Apparatus Chemicals

Each working group will need:

Eye protection: goggles (Safety spectacles are NOT suitable)

Test-tubes, 4

Boiling tubes, 3 (Note 1)

Test-tube rack

Test-tube holder

Cork, to fit test tube

Dropping pipette

Measuring cylinders (10 cm3), 2

Beakers (100 cm3), 2

Beaker (250 cm3)

Glass rod

Spatula

Bunsen burner

Tripod and gauze

Heat resistant mat

Boiling water from an electric kettle (Note 2)

Ice-bath (optional) (Note 3)

Filter flask, funnel, filter papers, and pump (Note 4)

Castor oil, about 5 cm3

Ethanol (IDA, Industrial Denatured Alcohol) (HIGHLY FLAMMABLE, HARMFUL), 5 cm3

Sodium hydroxide solution, 5 M (CORROSIVE),
 10 cm3

Sodium chloride, 10 g

Concentrated sulfuric acid (CORROSIVE), 2 cm3

Purified water (distilled or deionised)

Refer to Health & Safety and Technical notes section below for additional information.

 



 






Page last updated October 2015

Castor oil, a source of vegetable oils, reacts with a concentrated alkali to form soaps. Or, it reacts with concentrated acid to form a detergent.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

This is a resource from the Practical Chemistry project, developed by the Nuffield Foundation and the Royal Society of Chemistry. This collection of over 200 practical activities demonstrates a wide range of chemical concepts and processes. Each activity contains comprehensive information for teachers and technicians, including full technical notes and step-by-step procedures. Practical Chemistry activities accompany Practical Physics and Practical Biology.