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Esters, Fats, and Oil [Free JAMB Tutorial on Chemistry]

Today on our JAMB Free Tutorial, we will focus on CHEMISTRY. We will treat Esters, Fats, and Oil. We will also ask 10 objective questions.

Our topics are ESTERS, FATS, and Oil. You can check the table of content (content in post) below to scan through the sub-topics we will teach.

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They are organic compound which possess the functional group COOR. Their general formula is RCOOR. Ester are the main constituent of natural occurring fat and oil with pleasant smell / odour.

It is a reaction between Alkanols and Alkanoic acids to produce salt and water.


IUPAC NameStructural FormulaFlavour
Methyl butanoateC3H7COOCH3Apple
Ethyl butanoateC3H7COOC2H5Pineapple
Pentyl ethanoateCH3COOC5H11Banana
Octyl ethanoateCH3COOC8H17Orange
Propyl ethanoateCH3COOC3H7Pear

Esters with long carbon chain are present in vegetable oil and animal fat. Fat and oil esters or propan -1, 2, 3 – triol are long chain fatty acids such as hexadecanoic acid or palmitric acid.

Lab. Prep. Of CH3COOC2H5 (Ethyl Ethanoate)

CH3COOC2H5 is prepared by the esterification between ethanol and CH3COOH (ethanoic acid) in the presence of conc. H2SO4.

The following is carried out to purify the distillates;

  1. Shake the distillate in a separating funnel with conc. Na2CO3 solution to remove the acidic impurities.
  2. Discard the lower aqueous layer and shake the upper layer with a concentrated solution of CaCl2 to remove the C2H5
  3. Discard the lower layer again and containing anhydrous CaCl2 and leave it to stand for a day to remove any water present in the mixture.
  4. Filter the mixture, distil it over a water bath and collect the fraction which distils between 74oc to 79o The fraction contains pine of ethyl ethanoate which is almost free of ethoxy ethane.

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Physical properties Of Esters

  1. Lower and intermediate esters are colourless, volatile liquids with pleasant smell while high molar mass esters are colourless wax-like solid.
  2. Low molecular mass esters are fairly soluble in water. However, the solubility of esters in water decreases with increase in molecular mass.
    NB: All esters are soluble in organic solvents.
  3. The boiling points are much lower than those of alkanols and alkanoic acid of comparable masses. This is due to the absence of hydrogen bond in esters.
ester chemical equations

Differences between neutralization and esterification

1The reactions are covalentThe reaction are ionic or electrovalent.
2Heat and catalyst are required.No heat or catalyst required.
3It is a reversible reactionIt is not a reversible reaction.
4Main products is ester which is covalentMain product is salt which is ionic or electrovalent.

Test for Ester

To a small amount of the substance, dissolve the C2H5OH, add 2 to 3 drops of phenopthaline with 2 to 3 drops of NaOH solution. The solution becomes pink. However on warming, the pink colour disappears showing the presence of ester.


  1. Used in making artificial perfumes because it has sweet smell.
  2. Used in making artificial flavours and essence in cold drink, ice-cream and sweet.
  3. Used in preparation of many organic compound.
  4. They are used as solvents for oil, fat, paints and vitamins.
  5. They are used as softening agent for plastics and resins.

Before we proceed, let’s show your 7 fun facts about Chemistry:

Did you know

  1. It’s possible to die from drinking too much water.
  2. By the time you feel thirsty, you’ve already lost about 1% of your body’s water.
  3. Sometimes, hot water freezes more quickly than cold water. A high school student documented the effect, which bears his name (the Mpemba effect).
  4. Hot peppers get their heat from a molecule called capsaicin. While the molecule acts as an irritant to mammals, including humans, birds lack the receptor responsible for the effect and are immune to the burning sensation from exposure.
  5. One bucket full of water contains more atoms than there are buckets of water in the Atlantic ocean.
  6. Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, while oxygen is the most abundant element in the Earth’s atmosphere, crust, and oceans (about 49.5%).
  7. Did you know that our JAMB CBT App has Chemistry tutorial for JAMB Candidates? It also has over 10,000 past questions and answers. You can get the App HERE.

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They belongs to a group of compound known as lipids. Fats are from animals while oil are from plants. Both fat and oil are esters of trihydric alkanol (glycerol).

Fatty Acids

Fatty acids are naturally occurring monocarboxylic acids in fats and oil.

They are divided into two

  • Saturated and
  • Unsaturated fatty acids

Saturated Fatty Acids

Is one with a carbon chain in which all carbon-carbon bond are single bond. E.g.: palm oil and coconut oil.

Palmitric acid (palm oil) >> CH3(CH2)14COOH – hexadecanoic acid

Stearic acid >> CH3(CH2)16COOH – octadecanoic acid

Unsaturated Fatty Acids

This contains one or more double bond in their molecules. E.g.: olive oil/peanut oil and vegetable oils.

CH3(CH2)7 = CH(CH2)7COOH – octadec-9-enoic acid (oleric acid) which is gotten from olive oil.

Fats have higher melting point than oil because they are composed of higher proportion of ester of saturated fatty acids.

While oil have lower melting point than fats because they are composed of higher proportion of ester of unsaturated fatty acids.

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Hydrogenation of Oils

Oil are changed into fat by hydrogenation. This process is carried out by using oil, like palm oil, groundnut oil or soya bean oil which is heated to about 100oc in the presence of finely divided Nickel catalyst at about 5atm. The hydrogen is added across the double bond of the unsaturated carbon chain in the oil.


It is the alkaline hydrolysis of fats and oil to produce soap and glycerol.

  • Fats or oil + caustic soda ⟶ soap + glycerol


It is any substance that has the ability to clean an object.

Types of Detergents

Soapy Detergent:

These are sodium salts of fatty acids. They are saponification product of fats and oil. In the commercial manufacturing of soap, concentrated NaCl solution is added decrease the solubility of the soap, so that it separate out as a hard cake on the surface on cooling. This process is called salting out.

Each molecule of soap possesses a long hydrocarbon chain R attached to an ionic head which is either COONa+ or COOK+. The hydrocarbon tail is hydrophobic (insoluble in water but soluble in oil and organic solvent) while the ionic head is hydrophilic i.e. it is soluble in water.

NB: When soap dissolves in water, the soap molecules forms spherical clusters called micelles.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Soapy Detergent

  1. It is a good cleansing agent in soft water.
  2. In hard water, it forms scum.
  3. In acidic water, it reacts with the excess hydrogen ion to form unionized fatty acids which lowers the cleansing effects of the soap.
  4. Soap is biodegradable i.e. it can be easily decomposed by bacteria into simple inorganic substances. Hence, it doesn’t cause water pollution.

Soapless Or Synthetic Detergent:

The detergent molecules has a hydrophobic tail and hydrophilic head. The hydrophobic tail is either a long chain hydrocarbon between 12 to 18 or a benzene ring with a long alkyl group attached. The hydrophilic head can be positively, negatively charged or even neutral.

NB: The high solubility of soapless detergent in water is due to the SO3Na+ that is presence in the molecule.

Advantages And Disadvantages of Soapless Detergent

  1. It doesn’t form scum or react with hydrogen ion.
  2. It retains its cleansing properties irrespective of the type of water used.
  3. In aqueous solution detergent are neutral, however soap hydrolysis to give a slightly alkaline solution.
  4. It can also be tailor made for specific purpose as it breaks up the oil slick.
  5. Soapless are non-biodegradable hence they cause water pollution as they clog water ways.


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The first person to answer the 10 questions correctly will be rewarded with N2,000. We did it on our BIOLOGY TUTORIAL and we will do it again! Use the comment box below to tell us your answer.

NB: Make sure you read the tutorial above before/after you attempt this questions.

  1. The alkanol obtained from the production of soap is?
    A. Glycerol
    B. Methanol
    C. Propanol
    D. Ethanol.
  2. An organic compound with a pleasant smell is likely to be
    A. Alkanones
    B. Esters.
    C. Alkanals
    D. Amides
  3. Reaction between ethanoic acid and pentanol will give you?
    A. Ethyl propanoate
    B. Propyl ethanoate
    C. Ethyl pentanoate
    D. Pentyl ethanoate
  4. Salt formers are referred to as
    A. Esters
    B. Ethers
    C. Ethanoate
    D. Ethyl
  5. The poor solubility of esters in water is due to
    A. Absenceof hydrogen bonding.
    B. Presence of hydrogen bonding
    C. Presence of oxygen hydrogen bonding
    D. Absence of oxygen hydrogen bond
  6. The saponification of an alkanoate to produce soap and alkanol involves
    A. Dehydration
    B esterification
    C hydrolysis
    D. Oxidation
  7. In manufacturing of soap, sodium hydroxide is used for
    A. Increase solubility
    B remove impurities
    C. Decrease solubility
    D. Make soap more cheap.
  8. Esters can be reduced by
    A. Oxidizing agents
    B. Reducing agents
    C. Oxidation
    D. Reduction
  9. Sodium trioxocarbonate(v) is used to remove ____in the preparation of ethyl ethanoate
    A. Basic impurities
    B. Acidic impurities
    C. The distillates
    D. Ethanol
  10. Laundry soap can be prepared by the use of
    A. Sodium salts
    B. Calcium salts
    C. Carbonates salt
    D. Dicarbonates salts

Please use the comment box below to drop your answers.

THINK & ACT : If we can give you this for FREE, imagine what we can give if you pay and join the ALLSCHOOL JAMB Online Lesson. In the lesson, our hardworking tutors ensure they only teach you things that will come out in JAMB, so you’ll score extremely high in JAMB. Click Here to join the ALLSCHOOL JAMB Online Lesson NOW.

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Unya obedience godwin

The app is a good one
Just hope it will be helpful

Iboi Greater

1A, 2B, 3D, 4A, 5A , 6C, 7C, 8D, 9B , 10A

Mohammed Yusuf


Allu Richard Arigu

1 D 2 B 3A 4 A 5 B 6 D 7 A 8B 9 B 10 D


Allschool you send me #2000 two times making #4000, I hope I deserve it


Wow I just received an Alert of #2000,Thank you Allschool I really appreciate



Ekpeme Augustine



1. A
2. B
3. C
4. C
5. A
6. C
7. C
8. B
9. B
10. A


Plz, when is result comes out and correction


I, took, B, for, option8.1c, 2b, 3d, 4a, 5a, 6c, 7c, 8b, 9b, 10a. I made corrections for option 8.


1c, 2b, 3d, 4a, 5a, 6c, 7c, 8a, 9b, 10a.


1c, 2b, 3c, 4c, 5a, 6c, 7c, 8a, 9b, 10a


1. A
2. B
3. C
4. A
5. A
6. C
7. C
8. B
9. B
10. A

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