Carboxylic acids are weak acids and dissociate only partially in water. They react with alcohol through esterification with conc sulfuric acid to form an ester. Carboxylic acids can be tested with sodium carbonate, with the positive test result being effervescence.
Esters can be hydrolysed with acid or an alkaline. Unlike acid hydrolysis producing carboxylic acid, base hydrolysis produces a carboxylate ion and an alcohol.
Triglycerides are molecules with a glycerol and 3 fatty acids. The alkaline-catalysed hydrolsis of triglycerides forms soap as the sodium salt is being used as soap.
Biodiesel is a mixture of methy esters of long chain carboxylic acids. Vegetable oils can be converted into biodiesel by reaction with methanol in the presence of NaOH catalyst.
Acylation is the process of adding an acyl group onto a nucleophile using nucleophilic addition-substitution reactions. Nucleophiles such as ammonia, primary amines, water and alcohol can be reacted with acyl chlorides or acid anhydrides, which are acylating agents, to gain an acyl group.