THE NEXT CHAPTER - all you chemistry pros (including YOU Lab Rat) get in here and let's make free fatty acid history!!!!

SaltyNuts

Platinum Member
May 1, 2001
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So, as most of you know, I recently made some DAMN fine soap. Came out perfectly. Waaay beyond my expectations. But, making soap was not my end goal (although it was fun and I love the soap, so I will be doing more of it, and I promise I will share my awesome creations with you!!!!).

No. That was only the first step in the journey. The next step.... extracting free fatty acids from that soap!

So, pics below. Here is what I did. This was basically on the orders of the UCLA Lab Rat. I scooped some of the soap out into a beaker. I poured into that beaker a shit-ton a hydrochloric acid. I let it sit for several days. They I used some giant syringe thing to separate to top layer you see below into a new beaker, leaving the lower layer in its own beaker.

I used PH strips on both of them. As you can see, the bottom layer had a VERY low PH, so is probably almost pure Hydrochloric acid. Also as you can see, the top layer had a PH of almost 7. So, my main question is what do I need to do now? UCLA Lab Rat, you mentioned using ether or something to try and extract the free fatty acids, but let me ask you (or others with real chemistry knowledge) this first - is not the top layer supposed to be the free fatty acids, maybe not entirely but in large part at least? I mean, isn't the reaction something like: Sodium salt + HCl ---> NaCl + fatty acid? Let me know what I should do now! Thank you!!!

P.S., so many of you on the other thread were convinced I would kill myself... LOL, quit being girly-men. This was easy as pie, both making the soap and this next step. Be men, not mice, for Christ's sake LOL....


Pics:




Right after dumping in the soap and the HCl.

20211018_182328.jpg




After a few days of letting it sit, you can see what I think is the fatty acid (plus more?) on top, the HCl layer under it, then some solids that settled out at the bottom:



Fatty acids.jpg




Then, after I used my giant syringe thing to suck out the top layer and put in a separate beaker:




20211030_165909.jpg





Bottom layer PH strip test:


20211030_170051.jpg




Top layer PH strip test:




20211030_170030.jpg



Victory or death!!!!
 

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pete6032

Diamond Member
Dec 3, 2010
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What do you need the fatty acids for? What is the purpose of this?
 

SaltyNuts

Platinum Member
May 1, 2001
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Come on guys, for one in your life, be serious and stop trolling. Try to offer some real, helpful thoughts. If you don't have any, no problem, but don't muck up this thread with the trolling, let's keep this one on topic and encourage anyone with real knowledge in this area to post helpful thoughts. Thank you.
 

SaltyNuts

Platinum Member
May 1, 2001
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P.S., Lat Rat, where are you?!?!?!?!? Your intelligence is needed up in this thread, these tech support guys have absolutely no clue what we are even talking about here LOL.
 

deadlyapp

Diamond Member
Apr 25, 2004
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I can just imagine Salty rubbing his fatty acids all over his balls when he hits a pocket of hydrocloric acid and singes his nutsack.
 

SaltyNuts

Platinum Member
May 1, 2001
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So, since UCLA Lab Rat has abandoned me (and thus by proxy of off ATOT), I've been trying to learn chemistry shit to get my pure free fatty acids. But man on man, I got to tell you, these "scientist" types have a hard time speaking (or maybe just writing lol) English. Can SOMEONE please help me translate what this is saying into English:

Saponification and Purification of Free Fatty Acids
Procedure
Reflux for 15 minutes a mixture of 200 gr. oil and 400 ml. of a 20% alcoholic potassium hydroxide. (Note 1) Cool the flask under tap water and acidify the solution to Congo red paper with dilute sulfuric acid. (Note 2) Cool again if necessary; extract the fat acids repeatedly with a total of 1500 ml. of petroleum ether (bp 30°-60° C) and transfer the washings to a 2-liter separatory funnel 3 times, with 200 ml portions of distilled water or until the last wash is neutral to Congo red paper. (Notes 3, 4) Then dry the washings with 50 gr. anhydrous calcium sulfate, filter and remove the solvent from a water bath. Final traces of solvent are removed by passing a stream of nitrogen or carbon dioxide through the fat acids in vacuo. The neutralization equivalent should be about 280, acid value 200. (Note 5)
Notes:
  1. The alkali is prepared by dissolving 50grof potassium hydroxide in 50 ml of water and then adding 350 ml of commercial absolute ethanol. Sodium hydroxide should not be used because the sodium soaps formed on saponification will not be soluble in the volume of alcohol used.
  2. The dilute sulfuric acid is prepared by pouring 50 ml onto 200 gr cracked ice.
  3. Emulsions may be broken by adding salt to the funnel so that it falls through the interface.
  4. Litmus paper should not be used since it frequently turns red due to the acidity of the fat acids.
  5. If the neutralization equivalent is too high, the saponification should be repeated.


It is the first one linked here: https://lipidlibrary.aocs.org/chemistry/physics/lipid-chemistry/methods-of-preparation-of-fatty-acids-and-their-derivatives-laboratory-exercises#Saponification


I get the first sentence is just mixing the oil and alcoholic potassium mix. Instead of just saying "mix" they have to try and be cool and say "reflux" lol. But whatever. At least it is a half-way normal sentence.

But the rest of it, WTF???

"Acidy the solution to Congo red paper with the acid"

Congo red paper can turn different colors, so what exactly color am I trying to get it to turn to?

Then the remainder is far, far worse, all gobbly-goop.

"Cool again if necessary; extract the fat acids repeatedly with a total of 1500 ml. of petroleum ether (bp 30°-60° C) and transfer the washings to a 2-liter separatory funnel 3 times, with 200 ml portions of distilled water or until the last wash is neutral to Congo red paper. (Notes 3, 4) Then dry the washings with 50 gr. anhydrous calcium sulfate, filter and remove the solvent from a water bath. Final traces of solvent are removed by passing a stream of nitrogen or carbon dioxide through the fat acids in vacuo. The neutralization equivalent should be about 280, acid value 200. (Note 5)"

I have NO IDEA what that means. There is a least one run-on sentence there or sentences that should be separated, I can't tell. Shit is just wrong.

Can anyone PLEASE help me understand what they are saying to do?

Any help is much appreciated!!!!
 
Dec 10, 2005
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Can SOMEONE please help me translate what this is saying into English:
Having been trained in chemistry and lab techniques, I could help, but won't. I won't help someone with their backyard chemistry project that could easily hurt someone because of a lack of proper equipment or hurt the environment because of the hazardous waste coupled with likely improper disposal.

Tldr: lol, nope.
 

Paperdoc

Platinum Member
Aug 17, 2006
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In EVERY field of knowledge the people involved FIRST learn the specialized vocabulary of that field. This involves learning both a group of new words and some different ways of using previously-known words. These words are used to convey information precisely and in a compact manner. I first realized this clearly as a student of Chemistry and Physics when I took an introductory Psychology course (that field always interested me) and recognized that I had been doing that same "Learn the Lingo" thing in the early stages of virtually every math and science course I took.

The procedure SaltyNuts details above is quite precise, and a SKILLED chemist certainly could follow them, and do it SAFELY because he / she would ALSO know a whole bunch of other stuff NOT detailed there. Without that knowledge acquired by study AND hands-on training an amateur could get into real trouble! Remember the classic statement by a politician (derided unfairly in public discourse) that "We do not know what we do not know"? So I agree with Barinonska511 above - It's not wise to encourage someone with limited knowledge to follow a complex procedure. Note that by "limited knowledge" I am not criticizing OP. It's just the truth - MOST people are limited in their ability to carry out a Chemical Lab process because they are NOT skilled Chemists, despite being well-skilled in many other fields. I studied Physical Chemistry extensively and worked as an Industrial Chemist for decades. But my skills in graphic design are very limited, I could never design clothing or draw anything decently, and I never did understand why my marks in English courses were poor.
 

Jon-T

Senior member
Jun 5, 2011
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-------- Snip ------------

I get the first sentence is just mixing the oil and alcoholic potassium mix. Instead of just saying "mix" they have to try and be cool and say "reflux" lol. But whatever. At least it is a half-way normal sentence.

But the rest of it, WTF???

------ Snip ------------
Reflux is not just mixing. It is a very specific procedure. They are not trying to be "cool". Lol

Personally with my 3 years collage chem and 25 years of working in a lab I read this and my thoughts are "Been there done that". From what I have read in your posts I wouldn't help you make Jello.

Just rub the raw canola or fish oil on your face.
 

SaltyNuts

Platinum Member
May 1, 2001
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Come on guys, help a brother out. I've already done the dangerous part and made the soap the extracted the fatty acids, now is the NON-DANGEROUS part, and I need to understand what the statements from that experiment mean. Please help. Please.
 

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