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Something about fatty acid

  1. Jan 21, 2006 #1
    Three fatty acid, when condense with glycerol, they donate or give out their OH- ions and combine with the H+ ions to form water and fat molecule. According to my chemistry teacher, an acid is a covalent molecular compound, which when dissolved in water, forms hydrogen ions H+ (aq). As fatty acid forms OH- when dissolved in water, why it is called as an acid but not an alkaline?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 22, 2006 #2


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    Actually, it is the carboxylic group -COOH that gives the acidity to fatty acids. Just like HCl (hydrochloric acid) dissociates into H+ and Cl- in water, the carboxylic acid group on a fatty acid, with dissociate into H+ and COO- making the solution acidic. This conforms to your teacher's definiton of an acid.

    When fat synthesis occurs, the fatty acids each do contribuite an OH- and the glycerol 3 H+ to form a fat molecule.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2006
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