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ERIC Number: EJ1002582
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Aug
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 26
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Evaluating Sustainability: Soap versus Biodiesel Production from Plant Oils
Pohl, Nicola L. B.; Streff, Jennifer M.; Brokman, Steve
Journal of Chemical Education, v89 n8 p1053-1056 Aug 2012
Herein we describe a series of experiments for the undergraduate organic laboratory curriculum in which various plant oils (soybean, rapeseed, and olive) are subjected to saponification and transesterification reactions to create a set of compounds that can function as soaps or as fuels. The experiments introduce students to and asks them to critically evaluate concepts of sustainability and green chemistry, microwave versus conventional heating, and their understanding of chirality-prochirality, and stereochemistry. Unexpectedly, because of the comparison between soap and biodiesel production, the experiment also revealed misunderstandings about catalysis. (Contains 1 scheme.)
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A