Thursday, December 15, 2011

Soap and Detergent

What is soap?

Soap is a salt that is formed from the reaction between an alkali and a fatty acid, RCOOH

-sodium palmitate
-sodium stearate
-sodium laurate
-sodium oleate

What is the history of soap manufacturing?

How is soap made?

Stage 1

  • The two parts of the oil or fat (ester) molecules are separated by heating the oil with alkaline solution through the hydrolysis process.
  • In this process, the oil or fat (ester) molecule is broken up into fatty acid and glycerol by water in the presence of alkali which acts as a catalyst.

Stage 2

  • The fatty acid that is released in Stage 1 reacts with alkali to form sodium salt fatty acid which is soap

What is detergent?

Is a salt that is produced from the reaction between an alkali and a sulphonic acid. Detergent is also the sodium salt of sulphonic acid. Examples:-

-sodium alkyl
 -sodium dodecyl sulphate ( sodium lauryl sulphate)

How is detergent made?

-This is a process diagram of detergent production.

-Sodium alkyl sulphate can be prepared through a neutralisation reaction between an alkyl sulphonic acid with a sodium hydroxide solution.

-The sodium dodecyl sulphate detergent is prepared through a neutralisation reaction between the dodecyl sulphonic acid and a sodium hydroxide solution.

How Does Soap and Detergent Work?

Generally, the soap ion structure can be represented as below

Soap molecules can reduce the surface tension of water to allow it to wet a material's surface better.

• The soap molecule dissolves in water and reduces the surface tension of water. Water wets the dirty surface.
• The hydrophylic region dissolves in water.
• The hydrophobic region dissolves in dirt such as grease.
• The tail region emulsifies and breaks up the grease into small drops.

• When shaken, the water molecules will attract the soap ions and cause the grease to detach from the surface of the material.
• The soap bubbles to help float the grease emulsion in the water. When rinsed, the grease will be removed with the water.

How is soap and detergent different in hard water?

Hard water?
Hard water is the water that contains mineral salts, of which the majority of it are calcium and magnesium ions.

What are detergent additives for?

My Soap Survey...


Comments: Uses Potassium Laureate, and Streareth as its soap agent. Also uses orange peel oil Tetrasodium EDTA as fragrance. 


Comments:Uses Sodium Laureth Sulfate as its soap agent. 

3.Guardian, Syringa cream hand wash

Comments:Uses Sodium Laureth Sulfate as its soap agent. 

-Longman Essential Chemistry SPM
-Google Images 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Food Additives

The Purpose of Food Additives

Example and Function of Food Additives

My Food Additive Survey
Chupa Chups:  Contains mixed fruit pure as flavouring, and colouring.
Sunquick cordial: Contains flavouring, conditioner, preservatives and colouring.
Fitnesse Cereal: Contains artificial flavour, emulsifiers and stabilizers.
Heinz Farley's Rusk: Contains emulsifiersand fish oil as flavouring.
Lee Choco Chips: Contains flavouring.
Mum's Bake Cookie: No additives detected.
Oriental Rota Prawn Crackers: Contains artificial colouring and MSG as flavour enhancer.
Lee Special Cookies: Contains emulsifiers, conditioner and flavouring.
Choki Choki: Contains emulsifiers.
 Sunsweet Dry Prunes: Contains preservatives.
 Prego: Contains conditioner.
 Nutella: Contains emulsifiers and flavourings.

Disadvantages of Food Additives
Effects on health
Food additives if taken in access can cause side effects. For instance, the colourings in food can cause hyperactivity in children. And also, some people are allergic to food additives such as flavourings and preservatives.

Effects on the environment
Food additives require chemicals and processing, which require the use of more energy to produce the food. So food additives contribute to a higher carbon footprint for whatever food product it is, which thus contributes to the carbon greenhouse gases that should be curbed right now. The food products are like Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) to make food tastier.

I would advice to reduce the intake of processed food, especially the ones that contain a lot of food additives because not only you risk your own life but also the environment as said above. And you know who uses the environment, rite? =)

-Longman Essential Chemistry SPM


Traditional Medicine
Source: usually comes from plants (herbs) or animals.
Example and uses:
Aloe Vera: •Treats skin disease, •Relieves skin wounds resulting from contact with hot things.
Garlic: •Treats high blood pressure, •Prevents cancer and flu.
Turmeric: •Treats ringworm and liver disease,• Cures diarrhoea.
Bee's Honey: • Relieves pain of skin that has been scalded by hot things.

Traditional Chinese medicine
Traditional medicine

Modern Medicine

Side Effects of Medicine


Individuals taking St. John's wort to treat depression or anxiety may find their skin becoming more sensitive to the sun. They may burn more easily. Typically, fair-haired and light-skinned Caucasians have the highest incidence of photosensitivity, but this herbal side effect is thankfully rare. Typical cases of photosensitivity occur when people take very high doses of St. John's wort, or take it over a long period of time. If taking St. John's wort, avoid too much sun exposure.

Skin Irritation

Topical herbal antifungal and antibacterial agents such as tea tree oil and lavender may cause rashes or skin irritation, especially if used at full strength. Before using any topical herbal product, try a skin patch test. Place a small amount of the product on the inside of the elbow on one arm only. Wait a few days. If the area remains clear, proceed with using the herbal product.


Everyone's body is different, and some people are more sensitive to herbs than other people. Herbs used to treat anxiety, depression and insomnia may cause excessive daytime sleepiness in certain individuals. These herbs include chamomile, valerian and kava kava, with valerian and kava being the most likely culprits. Avoid driving or using machinery until you're sure of the effects of the herb.

Drug Interactions

Drug interactions are serious side effects of herbal medicine. Many commonly used medications interact with herbs. Herbs may amplify the effect of the medication, as in the case of sedatives, anesthetics, and blood thinners. Others may block the drug from working. This can lead to dangerous consequences.

Interaction with General Anesthesia

One of the most common side effects of herbal medicine is its interaction with pharmaceutical drugs. Of particular danger is the interaction between herbs and anesthetics. Many people undergo general anesthesia for outpatient procedures and diagnostic tests as well as major surgical procedures. Certain herbs, such as kava kava and valerian, may magnify the effect of sedatives and general anesthetics.
Patients must tell their anesthesiologist about all herbs, supplements, vitamins, pharmaceutical medications and alternative remedies they are taking to avoid dangerous drug interactions. TheAmerican Society of Anesthesiologists advises patients not to take herbal remedies two weeks prior to receiving any anesthesia because so many herbs can interact with anesthetics as well as cause other complications during surgical procedures. Many doctors also advise against taking dietary supplementsprior to surgery for the same reason.

Liver Inflammation

Echinacea, one of the most popular herbs used to boost the immune system and battle colds, may also cause liver inflammation when it interacts with certain pharmaceutical compounds. Echinacea may also prevent certain medications used to treat lupus and other immune-system disorders from working.

1. The inability to truly cure, which results in 40% of the American population suffering from a serious chronic disorder.
2. Adverse side effects, which result in 180,000 deaths per year.

  • High blood pressure (hypertension). Modern medicine uses various drugs to drop the blood pressure - without considering why the body had elevated it in the first place.
  • Angina - Modern medicine uses drugs to "cover-up" the symptoms of angina and other forms of heart diease, without telling you you can actually reverse the damage that is causing it!
  • High Cholesterol - modern medicine uses drugs to artifically force lower cholesterol levels, without thinking about WHY the body raised them in the first place (clue: it is a defensive mechanism!)
  • Depression - modern medicine dopes adults and (increasingly) kids with toxic drugs to cover up pyschiatric / psychological issues that are caused by malnutrition, plain and simple. (specifically, a chronic lack of omega-3 fatty acids)

3. Iatrogenic disease of epidemic proportions.
4. Escalating costs that prohibit many from seeking appropriate modern health services.
5. The failure to prevent disease and suffering.

Correct Usage of Traditional and Modern Medicine
• Modern medicine like antibiotics, analgesics and psychotherapeutic medicines can only be taken under doctor's supervision or obtained through a prescription.
• Antibiotics given by the doctor must be consumed within the stipulated time frame this is important to ensure that all the bacteria that is causing the sickness has been killed by the antibiotics. Otherwise some of the bacteria that are still alive in the body may develop a resistance towards the antibiotic. when this happens, the same antibiotics will not be able to cure the disease or a very high dosage is needed to cure the same disease in the future.
• Analgesics such as paracetamol and aspirin must be taken only upon the advice of a doctor. Long term consumption of analgesics can damage the liver and kidneys.
• So, my advice is, follow the doctors advice always as they know better. =)

Usual Drugs Abused

Why Teenagers Take Drugs
• Teenagers that feel pressured and are not able to handle that are prone to drug abuse because the drugs mentioned above stimulate relaxation and this makes them forget about their problems and thus will lead to addiction from frequent consumption.

Side Effect of Drugs on Health

Nicotine: Increased blood pressure, and heart rate/chronic lung disease; cardiovascular disease; stroke; cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, cervix, kidney, bladder, and acute myeloid leukemia; adverse pregnancy outcomes; addiction

Alcohol: In low doses, euphoria, mild stimulation, relaxation, lowered inhibitions; in higher doses, drowsiness, slurred speech, nausea, emotional volatility, loss of coordination, visual distortions, impaired memory, sexual dysfunction, loss of consciousness/increased risk of injuries, violence, fetal damage (in pregnant women); depression; neurologic deficits; hypertension; liver and heart disease; addiction; fatal overdose

Marijuana: Euphoria; relaxation; slowed reaction time; distorted sensory perception; impaired balance and coordination; increased heart rate and appetite; impaired learning, memory; anxiety; panic attacks; psychosis/cough, frequent respiratory infections; possible mental health decline; addiction

Heroin: Euphoria; drowsiness; impaired coordination; dizziness; confusion; nausea; sedation; feeling of heaviness in the body; slowed or arrested breathing/constipation; endocarditis; hepatitis; HIV; addiction; fatal overdose

Impact of Drug Abuse to Society
The abuse of drugs cause social and economic issues. As crime rate in society increases, the demand of drug trafficking also increase. This effects nearly all aspects of our lives.

How to Prevent Drug Abuse

A number of different prevention approaches have been found to be effective in decreasing the risk of drug abuse and addiction. Simple lifestyle changes, like increased physical activity, are thought to help prevent drug abuse in teens. There is also formal programs that are found helpful in preventing drug abuse.

-Longman Essential Chemistry SPM
-Google Images

Saturday, September 3, 2011



The Properties of Ammonia

Haber Process
Ammonia is commercially produced by the Haber Process. This is a flow chart to show the stages in the manufacture of ammonia, starting with the raw materials.

Ammonium Fertilisers
examples of ammonium fertilisers:

  • Ammonium phosphate
  • Ammonium nitrate
  • Ammonium sulphate
The Effectiveness of Ammonium Fertilisers

It could be measured through determining its percentage of nitrogen content.  Plants needs nitrogens to grow.  Usually nitrogen is absorbed by plants in soluble nitrate ions from soils. Ammonium fertilisers consist of ammonium ions. Bacteria in the soils convert ammonium ions into nitrate ions which absorbed by plants together with water.  fFertiliser with higher percentage of nitrogen content is more effective.
To determine nitrogen content in ammonium fertilizer,

Comparison of Common Fertilizers

Ammonium Sulphate, (NH4)2SO4
Ammonium Nitrate, NH4NO3

Molar mass



Percentage of nitrogen in 1 mol

16/132 x 100% = 12.121%

28/80 x 100% = 35%

You should calculate the percentage of nitrogen content in each fertiliser and compare which one has higher percentage of nitrogen content. You'll know which fertiliser from the list is more effective.
From this example, ammonium nitrate is more effective.
Preparation of Ammonium Nitrate
Aim: To prepare ammonium nitrate
Material: 1 mol dm-3 ammonia solution, NH3

Material : 1 mol dm-3 ammonia solution, NH3(aq), 1 mol dm-3 nitric acid, NO3, red litmus paper.
Apparatus : 250 cm3 beaker, glass rod, tripod stand, Bunsen burner, wire gauze, filter funnel, filter                                  paper, measuring cylinder, dropper, asbestos tile.

Procedure :
1.     Measure 50 cm3 of 1 mol dm-3 nitric acid, HNO3, with a measuring cylinder and pour into a 250 cm3 beaker.
2.     Add 1 mol dm-3 ammonia solution, NH3 (aq), drop by drop from a dropper into the nitric acid, HNO3, while stirring until an excess amount is used (when ammonia is smelt).
3.     Pour the mixture into an evaporating dish.
4.     Boil the mixture until it evaporates to form a saturated solution.
5.     Cool the saturated solution to room temperature until crystal salts form.
6.     Filter and rinse the crystals with a little cold distilled water.
7.     Dry the salt crystals on a filter paper.

Analysis : Neutralisation occurs between nitric acid, HNO3, and ammonia solution, NH3(aq), and can                          be represented by the chemical equation below:

2NH3(aq)   +   HNO3   -->   NH4NO3

Conclusion : Ammonium nitrate, NH4NO3, salt can be prepared from the reaction between nitric acid,                               HNO3, and ammonia solution, NH3(aq).

Discussion :
1.     The mixture formed in the beaker can be tested from time to time with red litmus paper. The adding of ammonia solution, NH3(aq), drops are stopped when the red litmus paper turns blue.
2.     The chemical equation of the reaction between ammonia aqueous solution and nitric acid, HNO3, can be written as below:

HNO3(aq)   +   2NH4OH(aq)   -->   NH4NO3(aq)   +   2H2O(l)

However, only about 2% of the dissolved ammonia forms ammonium and hydroxide ions.

-Longman Essential Chemistry SPM

Sulphuric Acid

Its Uses

Contact Process
Sulphuric Acid is manufactured through the contact process. This is a flow chart to show the steps in the production of sulphuric acid by the Contact Process, starting from the raw materials until you finally get the sulphuric acid.

Sulphur Dioxide
This is one of the by-products of the Contact Process. It causes environment pollution. But before that, let us see the  main sources of sulphur dioxide.

Now that we know the sources of sulphur dioxide, let us see the effects of sulphur dioxide towards human health.

  • Severe airways obstruction, 
  • Hypoxemia (insufficient oxygenation of the blood), 
  • Pulmonary edema (a life threatening accumulation of fluid in the lungs)
  • Skin irritation
  • Eye irritation
  • Smarting of the eyes and lachrymation (tears)
  • Permanent pulmonary impairment (prolonged exposure)
  • may cause Cancers such as lung cancer, stomach cancer or brain tumours

Acid Rain

Acid rain has a pH below 5.6 due mainly to the reaction of water vapour with sulfur dioxide and the oxides of nitrogen.
  • Sulfur dioxide reacts with water to form sulfurous acid (H2SO3):
    SO2(g) + H2O(l)  H2SO3(aq)
  • Sulfur dioxide (SO2) can be oxidised gradually to sulfur trioxide (SO3):
    2SO2(g) + O2(g) -----> 2SO3(g)

  • Sulfur trioxide (SO3) reacts with water to form sulfuric acid (H2SO4):
  • SO3(g) + H2O(l) -----> H2SO4(aq)

Effects of Acid Rain

-Longman Essential Chemistry SPM

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Composite Materials


Composite materials are produced from the combination of two or more different compounds such as alloys, metals, glass, polymers and ceramic.


Composite Materials
Reinforcement Concrete
• Cement
• Gravel
• Sand
• Water
• Iron or Steel
∆ Strong
∆ High textile strength
∆ Cheap
- Construction materials
• Niobium
• Germanium
∆ Zero resistance
∆ Functions only under extremely low temperatures
- Transportation
- Astronomy industry
- Medical field
Fibre Glass
• Silica
• Sodium carbonate
• Calcium carbonate
∆ Good insulator of heat and electricity
- Protective apparel for astronauts and firefighters
Fibre Optics
• Glass
• Copper
• Aluminium
∆ Enables information to be transmitted in light form at light speed
- Electrical cables
- observe internal organs without surgery
Photochromic Glass
• Molten silica
• Silver cloride
∆ Dark in colour when exposed to light and bright when in the dark
- Optical lenses
- Glass windows
Ceramic Glass
• Produced by exposing glass that contains certain amounts of metal to ultraviolet rays and heating it at high temperatures

- Cooking materials
- Rocket heads
Plastic strengthened with glass fibres
• Plastic
• Glass
∆ Very strong
∆ Light
∆ Easily formed
∆ Withstands corrosion
- Helmets
- Body of cars and aeroplanes
- rods

Fibre Glass

Glass fibre is formed when thin strands of silica based or other formulation glass is extruded into fibres with small diameters suitable for textile processing.
Glass is unlike other polymers in that it has little crystalline structure and can be considered a substance frozen in its amorphous stage. The properties of the structure of glass in its softened stage are very much like its properties when spun into fibre.

Advantages of Photochromic Glass as Spectacles

The main advantage is that they will darken into a sunglass when exposed to U.V. light, thus obviating the need to carry a separate pair of sunglasses for protection against harmful U.V. rays from the sun.
Secondly, they provide a better visual health through UV protection than traditional prescription sunglasses.

-Longman Essential Chemistry SPM