Question for the scientists

129
10
Joined Mar 12, 2001
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:
 
4,469
108
Joined Aug 4, 2000
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/
 
444
10
Joined Jun 9, 2001
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
 
4,469
108
Joined Aug 4, 2000
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
 
444
10
Joined Jun 9, 2001
he he he he .... i knew i shouldnt have slept through chemistry class in school.
 
799
12
Joined Feb 21, 2001
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.
 
129
10
Joined Mar 12, 2001
Kokopuffs, thanks for your reply.
What i'm still not sure of is what is the potassium carbonate that I bought as 'lye water'?
 
129
10
Joined Mar 12, 2001
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:
 

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