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Comparatively Speaking: Fatty Alcohols vs. Fatty Acids vs. Esters
By: Anthony J. O'Lenick Jr., Siltech LLC
Posted: July 6, 2010
page 3 of 3
Esterification is a condensation reaction where an acid molecule reacts with an alcohol molecule, producing an ester and water, as shown in Figure 1.
Esterification is analogous to neutralization in the way that the resultant ester is named as if it is the alkyl salt of the acid. For example, sodium benzoate is the sodium salt of benzoic acid while lauryl benzoate is the ester of benzoic acid and lauryl alcohol.
There are a wide variety of esters due to the wide range of fatty acids and fatty alcohols available. The properties can be variable due to this wide array of variations.