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Lactic acid reaction question

  1. Jul 8, 2005 #1

    This is quite a simple question, but I am hoping someone has the time to help me with this.

    So, I have a question relating to lactic acid. Lactic acid (C3H6O3) -or 2-hydroxypropanoic acid- obviously has both a carboxyl group and a hydroxyl group. Now here's my question, should lactic acid react with sodium hydroxide (NaOH), are there any kinds of circumstances where *both* the carboxyl group and hydroxyl group would react with the sodium hydroxide? Obviously the carboxyl group becomes neutralized by the sodium hydroxide, but is there any kind of a situation where the hydroxyl group would react with the sodium hydroxide?
    So the formula would be :
    lactic acid + 2 NaOH -> product + 2 H20

    Thank you
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 8, 2005 #2


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    Science Advisor

    You'd need a stronger base than NaOH to deprotonate both the acid and the alcohol.
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