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Intermolecular Forces

Functional Groups in Organic Chemistry

The Physical Properties of Organic Compounds

Due to exceptionally strong intermolecular forces, the melting points and boiling points of carboxylic acids are higher than any other general category of organic molecules, including alcohols. The aqueous solubility of carboxylic acids is similar to alcohols, with those species containing four or fewer carbon atoms being completely soluble in water.



The Chemical Bond

Functional Groups in Organic Chemistry

Chemical Thermodynamics and the Equilibrium State

Acids and Bases

Organic Acids and Bases

Carboxylic acids are classified as weak acids. Typically, the pK+'s of a carboxylic acid is approximately 5. Even though they are categorized as 'weak' acids, having a pK+'s greater than 1, carboxylic acids are much stronger acids than alcohols. This is because the product of ionization is a resonance stabilized carboxylate ion, so the acid-base equilibrium is shifted to favor ionization when compared to alcohols.



Functional Groups in Organic Chemistry

The Physical Properties of Organic Compounds

Acids and Bases

Lipids

Reacting with a strong Arrhenius base, carboxylic acids form carboxylate salts called soaps. Soaps are amphipathic, mean that they are chemical compounds possessing both hydrophilic and hydrophobic nature. The carboxylate group end of a soap is hydrophilie, while the fatty acid chain end is hydrophobic. Above a critical concentration, long, straight chain carboxylate salts form a colloidal dispersion of spherical aggregates in water with the hydrophilic carboxylate groups on the outside and the lipophilic hydrocarbon chains toward the interior.







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