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CHAPTER ONE

1.0     INTRODUCTION

1.1     BACKGROUND OF THE SUBJECT MATTER

Soap has been a product with over a 5000 years history. It has remained an essential ingredient in modern living. It is used daily for medicinal and for laundry purposes; for household cleansing and for personal hygiene. There is an ongoing demand for bar soap as a cleaning agent despite the rolls made by modern detergents and soap powders (Barthelemy, 1883).

Industrial manufactured bar soaps first became available in the late eighteenth century. This happened when advertising campaigns in Europe and the United States, promoted popular awareness of the relationship between cleanliness and health. Until recently, the production of bar soap remained a primitive art, its manufacture being essentially the treatment of fat with alkali, a chemical process which is the same whether the production is done in a backyard or in a factory. The simplicity of the process of production of soap has led to is world wide practice as a small business operation.

Due to largely and very aggressive marketing and advertising of synthetic detergents by their manufactures and distributor in the face of zero efforts by the bar soap productive, the use of bar soap were neglected and its relevance in household cleansing or industrial cleansing was abandoned. The use of synthetic detergents has been increasing daily both in domestic and commercial utilization largely because of heavy national and international advertising. But soap still remains a viable cleansing product and can make a comeback in popularity if its benefit and advantages are marketed properly. Soap can still be viable particularly if significantly added value is placed, on its manufacture in terms of adding performs etc to the soap and to it more desirable for utilization (Thomas 1922)

In modern times, the use of soap has become, universal in industrialized nations due to a better understanding of the role of hygiene in reducing the population size of pathogenic micro-organisms in the environment. Because of the awareness created on the relationship between cleanliness and health, there is a steady demand of soap for domestic washing and cleansing and from industrial sector for washing up activities in plants and machines (Robinson, 1904).

Since the production of soap is cheap and can be produced anywhere, it will be possible to easily achieve a sufficiently high economy of scale. The production of toilet soap is also a distinct possibility as it is merely an exiting of bar soap whereby the water content is reduced from about 28% to 10% and perfume is added. Once the bar soap market is established, then a whole spectrum, of soap products is available though it will require additional and different machinery (Robinson, 1904).

1.2     AIMS OF THE STUDY

The basic aim of this project is to produce a soap in bars which can be used in household (domestic washing and cleansing) and also in industries for washing of factory tools and machines. It aims at producing a soap which is capable of removing stains and dirt so as to ensure a neat and healthy environment.

1.3     SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The study on the production of the bar soap is significant in homes, offices industries etc it is used in the washing off of dirt from our cloths, dishes, equipments etc. to ensure neatness and proper cleansing.

The significant of this study tends to connect the relationship that has to do with cleanliness and health. It tend to provide good health to people by ensuring a well and thorough cleaning of household materials, industrial facilities and equipment as well as cleaning the entire surroundings to ensure good health.

1.4     STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM

The project was faced by certain problems and challenges during the construction. The fear to embark on the project topic was a great obstacle to overcome as fear is the greatest of all discouragements.

The sourcing of the materials for the production as well as the scarcity of important book and inadequate access to information and knowledge concerning the production narrowed the production of bar soap.

Based on the economic crisis in our country today, financing the project construction stood as a stumbling block, due to financial bankruptcy. The problem of finance in the purchase of materials and equipment for the production and also for the search of information coupled with the stress and time factor was really a problem to mention.

The moulding and cutting of the bar soap to the desired shape after the production was very difficult. This is as a result of the unavailability of these materials which can given the best of service to ensure neat ad accurate of results.

1.5     LIMITATION OF STUDY

This project work covers the production of bar soaps. It is limited to the use of all necessary materials and any available local equipment in the production, moulding and cutting of the soap in bars to give the desire results as in the use of washing and cleansing.

1.6     DEFINITION OF TERMS

Some terms which is concerned in the production of bas soap are defined below:

SOAP:

In chemistry terms, a soap is a salt of fatty acid. The Oxford Dictionary of 6th Edition defined soap as a substance that is used with water in washing of bodies. It can also be defined as a salt of fatty acid which are mainly used as surfactants for washing, bathing and cleaning. It can be cut in bars or in tablets. There are different types of soaps. Some are liquid while some are solid. Some are soft while others are hard. This is dependent on the composition of chemicals in the products. Soaps are good at removing oil and grease stains together with other type of stains (Dunn, 2010).

SAPONIFICATION

Saponification is said to be a chemical reaction which is brought about by an alkaline solution, often called LYE. In saponification, the fats are first hydrolyzed in to free fatty acids, which then combine with the alkali to form soap. Therefore, it is a process of soap making (Willcox, 2000).


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