Saponification is the process of making
soap, but there is a lot more things that are behind this process of making
soap. This paper is for people who want to know what making soap is all about.
We will be covering the reaction and process of making soap, the history behind
making soap, and the importance of saponification. This story below is
something that will be amazing that soap can actually do to someone’s body and
stay like this after death.
The scientific part of the paper is the best part because you
learn about how things were made a long time ago. There is always a reaction in
something that has chemical materials in it like for instance soap. The
reaction is actually very simple if you know what the material are in the
making soap part. It is Triglyceride + Sodium = Glycerol and then that equals
the soap.1 It is petty cool when you start to think about it. The
process is not as simple as the reaction but it is still cool.
Soaps are sodium or potassium salts of long chain fatty acids.
When triglycerides in fat/oils react with aqueous NaOH or KOH, they are
converted into soap and glycerol. This is called alkaline hydrolysis of esters.
Since this reaction leads to the formation of soap. This sounds really complicated
but it isn’t. What they are saying is that soaps are made out of sodium or
potassium with salt and fatty acids. When fatty acids react with NaHO that is
also with water or KOH that has water. It is converted into glycerol or soap.4
We talked some about the materials that are in soap and is not
that many. There is 3-M sodium, hydroxide solution, and sodium chloride.3
There is only three things, but like scientists have found out is that the
process and reaction is much more complicated than three materials.
Now that you have learned all the science behind saponification,
it is time to learn about the history. The Babylonians were the first to master
the art of soap making in 2800 B.C. Then the Egyptians in 1500 B.C used
different animal mixtures and vegetable oils with alkaline salts to produce a
soap like substance. According to Pliny the Elder, the Phoenicians used goat’s
tallow and wood ashes to create soap in 600 B.C.
In 1791, a Frenchman named LeBlanc discovered a chemical process
that allowed soap to be sold for significally less money. More than twenty
years later, another Frenchman identified relationships between glycerin, fats,
and acids what marked te beginning of modern soap making.
Soap became even less expensive by 1800 and liquid hand soaps were
invented in the 1970’s and this invention keeps soaps in the public view.2
Last but not least is why is
soap so important? Well we use it every single day for most of us. We bath with
soap, we wash our clothes with soap, and we wash dishes with soap, but we
cannot go on and on with it. But it is very important because we need this
material to live because if we do not have soap we will get infections and
diseases and we could die. That is not a very happy topic, but it is the truth
and we need to know.
The process, reaction, and
history is behind saponification or making soap and more complicated than it
looks. Also everyone in this world needs soap because if we do not, the human
race will not survive.