Impacts of Applications of Chemistry on Society and the Environment

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------------------------------------------------- Impacts of Applications of Chemistry on Society and the Environment ------------------------------------------------- Open Ended Investigation Madeline De-Sanctis INTRODUCTION From the earliest times, Chemistry has played a pivotal role in the advancement and enrichment of civilization, although sometimes it has also caused harmful and occasional long-reaching catastrophic effects on the environment. The importance of this sphere of science can be demonstrated by the fact that entire periods in history were named the Iron Age and the Bronze Age, according to the level of chemical endeavor of that time. The content in this report will comment on the various implications of science on…show more content…
2. SOAPS & DETERGENTS Cleaning products play an essential role in our daily lives. By safely and effectively removing soils, germs and other contaminants, they help us to stay healthy, care for our homes and possessions, and make our surroundings more pleasant. Soaps are water-soluble sodium or potassium salts of fatty acids. They are an example of surfactants, which reduce the surface tension of water so it can spread and wet surfaces. Soaps are made from fats and oils from animal or plant sources. The main reaction in soap manufacture is called saponification. This process is where fats and oils are reacted with sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide. This forms glycerol and the sodium or potassium salt of a fatty acid, which is a soap. The effectiveness of soap is reduced when used in ‘hard water’. Hard water contains calcium and magnesium ions in solution. These salts react with soaps to form an insoluble precipitate known as soap film or soap scum, which do not rinse away easily and attaches to the sides of bathtubs and sinks. Synthetic detergents are effective cleaning products because they contain more than one surfactant and can perform well under a variety of conditions, including in hard water. Synthetic detergents were developed partly in response to various problems with soaps. These were that soaps do not lather in hard water and soap anions protonate in acidic water to form insoluble fatty acids, again destroying the lathering property

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