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The metal salts of the high molecular weight organics acids that occurs in fats as esters are called “soap” soaps are alkali salts of a fatty acid and or are detergents derived from naturally occurring oils, fats and waxed which in turns are available from vegetable sources.
Scientifically, soaps can be defined as a chemical compound or mixture of chemical compound that resulting from the interaction of fatty glyceride with a metal radical or organic base. The metal generally concerned with soap production are sodium (Na) and potassium (k), which produces water-soluble soap.
Soap belong to a class of the products that have the ability for cleaning materials/substances. It obtains the its useful cleaning characteristic from the combination of a long chaim hydrocarbon, which has good solvent action on others hydeocarbon, and its high water solubility.
Soft soap such as toilet soap, uses higher quality fat with water content reduced to about 10% or less. This soap is could and flaked, and passed through a hot air drying oven to reduce the water content prior to milling. Trace constituents are metered at the milling stage, since the soap is dried and higher pressure are required and subsequent plodding, the properties of the soft soap produced depends mainly on the alkali (potassium) and the fat/oil need. Due to this properties, it can be dissolved in water easily with high formability which makes it easy for washing soft soaps also contain additives such s perfumes, dyes, and antiseptic like sodium Tripoliphosphate (STPP).
The main difficulty with soaps is that in hard water which typically contains calcium (ca) ions, the soap propitiates as an insoluble calcium salt and this creates various problems particularly in laundering cloths. Soap contains a basic cleaning agent called a “surfactants or surface active agent”. The surface active agents consist of molecules that attach themselves to the dirt particles. The molecules pull these dirt particles out of the materials and hold them in the wash water until they are rinsed away.
Successful improvement in the production of soap industries have made it possible for the soap to receive public patronage as a result of certain materials that were added, vix alky/benzene sulphanate (ABS), which originated from the petrochemicals such as prophlene and benzene. This involves alkylatin of benzene with propylene and consequent suphonation of the resultant alky/benzene with sulphuric acid.
The alky/benzene sulphnates suffers from a major disadvantage; micro organism cannot degrade them, also the disposal of the waste products of soap causes a serious environmental pollution. As a result of this, in era alky/benzene sulphonate were developed which are more easily degraded by micro-organism.
Soap being derived from naturally substances were developed long before the mechanism of the detergent. There are a number of soaps prepared for special uses. Scouring soaps contain sand, pumice or similar material for abrasive action. Medicated soaps and soaps that smell like sheep dip contain antiseptics, and tailow is the must important fat for the production of soap, although coconut, babassu and palm-kernel oils are used in conjunction with tallow.
The term soap is broad enough to include the metal salts of carboxylic acids which are not used for cleaning purposes.
Those include the aluminum , calcium and aithium soaps used in greases, aluminum soaps used in cosmetics and zinc soaps used in antiseptic powers. Other metal soaps are used for water proofing, as derivers in paints, to kill fungi and as mordents.
The objectives of this project are:
a. to produce soft soap either from the local potash (Ngu) or from the laboratory grade.
b. To compare the characteristic of the soft soap produced with the characteristics of the either soaps produced from different sources.
c. To provide a means of producing soft soaps in the most economic way for the commercial grade.
1.3 ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE OF SOAP
Soap have many household and industrial beneficial uses. People use these products to wash their dishes and laundry to scrub flours, to clean wall and windows and to do may other household job.
Industrially, soaps and detergents can be used as cleaners, lubricants, softeners and polishers. For instance tire manufactures apply soap to hot tire to prevent them foom sticking to the moulds used in vulcanizing or hardening rubber. However, therefore, soaps can be used to polish jewelry and to soften leather for shoes and purses.
The scope of this project work is limited to the production and characterization of the soft soap from the caustic potash for commercial grade.
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