Lipids

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Lipids

Lipids are large organic compounds which occur naturally, they are usually insoluble in water.  Since they are nonpolar they are soluble in nonpolar organic solvents such as ether, chloroform, Benzene, Toluene, Di ethyl ether and so on. The composition of the lipids usually consists of hydrocarbons and are the reduced forms of carbon.
·         Lipids exists in the structure of the living cells mostly in the hormones, vitamins and non-protein membrane of the cell. They are one of the most important group of compound involved in the life of an organism.
·         When oxidized lipids do release large amount of energy, which is useful for the living organisms.
The lipids include molecules in fatty acids, natural oil, wax, soaps and detergents, terpenes, phospholipids and many other. Shown below are different types of lipids:

Fatty Acids:

The natural fatty acids are divided into two categories saturated and unsaturated. The saturated fatty acids have higher melting points when compared to the unsaturated fatty acids having the same size. The fatty acids are made of long carbon hydrogen chains which end with the carboxylic group. The chain of carbons are usually between 4 and 24 atoms long and having Oxygen, Halogen, Nitrogen, Sulfur functional groups attached.
An example for the structure of a saturated Fatty acid is:
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An example for the structure of an unsaturated Fatty acid is:
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The structure for Linoleic acid is:
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Soaps and detergents:

The soaps and detergents are used for the cleaning purposes when mixed in water. The soaps are formed when sodium hydroxide or sodium carbonate are added to natural fatty acid. The detergents reduce the surface tension of liquids such as water due to the presence of the surfactants. The molecule consists of non-polar hydrocarbon chain and the iconic polar head group. These compounds are thus used for cleaning as they can penetrate and wet different materials.
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Here the above molecule is called sodium stearate.
There are different types of detergents:
Anionic detergent: They consists of long hydrocarbon chains and a negatively charged water soluble ionic group. They are known as surfactants or alkyl benzene sulfonates.
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Cationic detergents: They also consists of long hydrocarbon chains with positively charged water soluble ionic group. They are mostly used in shampoos and are derivatives of ammonium.
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Neutral detergents: Like the anionic and the cationic detergents they also contain long hydrocarbons, whereas the overall charge is neutral.
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Natural detergents: These are naturally made in the liver and the main function of this lipid is digestions. They are the derivative of cholesterol.
Waxes: The esters of fatty acids consisting of monohydric alcohol which is one hydroxyl group is called as waxes. The natural wax is found on the leaves and fruits of the plants or trees. They have a wax coating to retain the moisture and prevent dehydration or harm from small insects. Mentioned below are few verities of waxes and their applications:

Name of the wax Formula Uses of the wax
Spermaceti CH3 (CH2)14 CO2-(CH2)15 CH3 Cosmetics and leatherworking
Carnuba wax CH3 (CH2)14 CO2- (CH2)15 CH3 Floor waxes and polishes
Beeswax CH3 (CH2)24 CO2- (CH2)29 CH3 Consumption

Here is a list of some lipids and where they are found:

Phospholipid They are the major component in the cell membrane.
Terpenes They are majorly produced by the plants.
Steroids lipid They are found in plants, animals and fungi
Glycerolipids or triglycerides They are the fat storage lipids in the body

Biological functions of lipids in the body:

Cholesterol formation: The cholesterol is present in the cell membrane and also in blood as plasma lipoproteins. These lipoproteins are complex aggregates of lipids and proteins which help the lipids travel throughout the body using the watery or aqueous solutions.
Storage of energy: The triacylglycerol’s are the fat storing lipids. As the name signifies they are made of three fatty acids and one glycerol. They release energy in the body during the time of need and form the structural components of cell.

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