One of the carboxylic acid of relevance in soap making
common name: Strearic acid
IUPAC Name Octadecanoic acid
Sodium stearate is soap.
Triglyceride is a triester of glycerol with fatty acids.
Fatty acids are carboxylic acids.
Formation of esters
When carboxylic acids are heated with alcohols in the presence of concentrated H2SO4, esters are formed. The reaction is reversible and is called esterification.
From the materials on esters
Hydrolysis of esters
Esters are slowly hydrolysed by water at reflux temperatures. The reaction is accelerated by dilute mineral acids (HCl, H2SO4) or alkalies.
Hydrolysis of esters by alkalies is also known as saponification and leads to formation of soaps.