Answer to Question #66506 in Organic Chemistry for urgyan

Question #66506
Sodium and potassium are displaced from soap by calcium and magnesium ions in hard water but they are more reactive than calcium and magnesium still they get displaced.Why?
1
Expert's answer
2017-03-22T09:50:28-0400
Answer:
The reaction soap and calcium or magnesium is not a single displacement reaction, where Ca must be more reactive than Na, what is impossible:
Ca + 2C17H35COONa Na + Ca(C17H35COO)2 – incorrect!
The reaction soap with calcium or magnesium is a double replacement reaction and precipitation reaction:
Soap dissolves in water and forms cations of K+ or Na+ and anions of fatty acid, as example C17H35COO-. Calcium and magnesium ions react with these anions and form insoluble in water salt.
C17H35COO-(aq) + Ca2+(aq) → Ca(C17H35COO)2 (s).

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