Question for the scientists

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by pollyg, Apr 17, 2002.

  1. pollyg

    pollyg

    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    10
    I am curing my own olives at the moment and I have become confused about what people refer to in curing methods as 'Lye'.
    I have found lye water in a shop which contains potassium carbonate, but a chemical website I looked at talked about potassium hydroxide lye.
    I'm not too keen on poisoning myself and was wondering if any of you know exactly which chemical is to be used to cure olives.:confused:
     
  2. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

    Messages:
    4,333
    Likes Received:
    81
    Exp:
    Home Cook
    Lye can be made very easily from lime and soda ash using a classic metathesis reaction:

    Ca(OH)2(aq) + Na2CO3(aq) -----> 2 NaOH + CaCO3(s)

    While lime is more alkaline than soda ash, when reacted together they produce a stronger alkali than either of the two separately. Synonyms for lye are caustic soda, and sodium hydroxide. It remains one of the most important alkalis in modern chemical industry though it is no longer manufactured from lime and soda ash. In addition to its many uses in chemical manufacture, it is the most common ingredient in drain openers and can be bought in the grocery store in the drain opener section.

    Or visit this site provided by GOOGLE.COM:

    http://cator.hsc.edu/~kmd/caveman/projects/soap/
     
  3. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

    Messages:
    4,333
    Likes Received:
    81
    Exp:
    Home Cook
  4. isaac

    isaac

    Messages:
    444
    Likes Received:
    10
    i am curious what is soda ash is and where one can get it to make lye. in making lye... just lime juice and this soda ash?

    thanks
     
  5. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

    Messages:
    4,333
    Likes Received:
    81
    Exp:
    Home Cook
    You chefs need to avoid chemistry until you've taken a class or two.

    LIME is CALCIUM OXIDE: CaO;
    Add water to lime to get slaked lime, Ca(OH)2, aka Calcium Hydroxide.

    LIMESTONE is CALCIUM CARBONATE, CaCO3, as in the White Cliffs of Dover. Chalk, you know.

    We're not talking fruit, either. If you didn't recognize this in the previous post then ...

    READ THIS ARTICLE:

    http://scifun.chem.wisc.edu/chemweek/lime/lime.html
     
  6. isaac

    isaac

    Messages:
    444
    Likes Received:
    10
    he he he he .... i knew i shouldnt have slept through chemistry class in school.
     
  7. thebighat

    thebighat

    Messages:
    799
    Likes Received:
    11
    Isaac- you sound like a good subject for a story in the Onion. "Man mixes household chemicals, lands and walks on Moon." My male sibling and myself once played WWI accidentally in the backyard fooling around with drain cleaner and clorox.
     
  8. isaac

    isaac

    Messages:
    444
    Likes Received:
    10
    LOL

    dont give me any ideas!!!!
     
  9. pollyg

    pollyg

    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    10
    Kokopuffs, thanks for your reply.
    What i'm still not sure of is what is the potassium carbonate that I bought as 'lye water'?
     
  10. pollyg

    pollyg

    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    10
    I think I just answered my own question.
    Potassium carbonate is potassium hydroxide that has been carbonated.
    Both of them get called potash and lye.:rolleyes: