>Saponification – Swinging molecules!

>I have found this animated gif of the saponification process a while ago and I have kept the link since. I just came across it again. It shows a very simple and clear representation of what happens during the interaction of oil and lye (Sodium or Potassium Hydroxide). 

  • The reaction starts off with an oil/fat molecule (triglyceride) composed of 3 fatty acid “arms” attached to a glycerol backbone.
  • One triglyceride molecule reacts with 3 NaOH or KOH molecules to form 3 soap molecules and 1 glycerol molecule.
While there are also other more scientific animations and schematics this one shows the basic starting products, their change while interacting as well as the resultant end products quite clearly and in an easily understandable way. This image is free to share and available from Wikipedia. They say a picture speaks a thousand words.