The solubility of sodium and potassium soaps and the phase diagrams of aqueous potassium soaps

  • James W. McBain
  • William C. Sierichs


Solubility data are provided and collected for the pure sodium and potassium soaps. Hydrolysis obscures the temperatures of solution but is obviated by the presence of a small excess of alkali. Each sodium soap has a large range of temperature between fair and high solubility, whereas the potassium soaps go abruptly into solution, at almost the same temperature and concentration of each soap.

The only soaps that are even moderately soluble at room temperature are potassium laurate, myristate, and oleate, the potassium salt of acids from coconut oil, and the sodium oleate. The other sodium and potassium soaps of the saturated fatty acids require elevated temperatures for solution.

Phase diagrams for the five commonest potassium soaps are developed and recorded.


Laurate Sodium Oleate Sodium Soap Sodium Stearate Sodium Laurate 
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Copyright information

© The American Oil Chemists’ Society 1948

Authors and Affiliations

  • James W. McBain
    • 1
  • William C. Sierichs
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryStanford University

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