Fatty Ethanolomides Essay Sample

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The main aim of this experiment is to make fatty ethanolamine, which is lauric ethanolamine from 2-aminoethanol and lauric acid. The reactions that take place is observed and the percentage yield and melting point is recorded.

In this report the procedures used and how the procedures work are explained systematically. Risk and hazards of the experiment were analyzed and are shown below. It was quite important as it ensured that the experiment was safe to carry out. The results obtained will be shown and discussed in further detail and improvements highlighted in the areas needed. Possible recommendations were also discussed and included to ensure when the experiment is carried again it’s more efficient and yield a greater product yield. Finally the MSDS [1] and COSHH [2] are attached in the appendix.


Ethanolamine and mono ethanolamine is the name given to the chemical compound 2-aminaethanol which is usually abbreviated as ETA or MEA. In Chemistry they are said to have both a primary amine due to an amino group and a primary alcohol due to the hydroxyl group in its molecule. Similar to other amines, mono ethanolamine acts as a weak base. It has hazardous properties such as being toxic, flammable, and corrosive. It is a colorless, viscous liquid with an odor similar to that of ammonia. Ethanolamine is important in the live of many living organisms since it is an abundant head group for phospholipids, which are substances found in biological membranes, and is also used in messenger molecules, which have an effect on receptors. It has the molecular formula C2H7NO

Lauric acid, or systematically dodecanoic acid, is the main acid in coconut oil and in palm kernel oil, and is known to have antimicrobial properties. It is a white, powdery solid with a faint odour of bay oil or soap. Lauric acid, although slightly irritating to mucous membranes, has a very low toxicity and so is used in many soaps and shampoos. The molecular formula of lauric acid is: C12H24O2

As lauric acid has a non-polar hydrocarbon tail and a polar carboxylic acid head, it can interact with polar solvents (the most important being water) as well as fats, allowing water to dissolve fats. This accounts for the abilities of shampoos to get rid of grease from hair. Fatty acids are a carboxylic acid with a long un-branched aliphatic tail (chain), which is either saturated or unsaturated. Saturated fatty acids do not have any double bonds or other functional groups along the chain.

So the above to molecules are used to produce lauric ethanolamine. Ethanolamine is both a primary alcohol and a primary amine as shown above. The hydroxyl group present would react with the fatty acid to form an ester. The amine group reacts to form an amide and the by-product is water. Ethanolamine acts as a weak base. A fatty acid and 2-aminoethanol react together to give three different products The main product is fatty ethanol amide in this reaction.

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