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I read a technical German book that refers to "ölsaurem Alkali" which apparently means "oleic acid alkali". How could it be both an acid and an alkali?

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    $\begingroup$ Can you cite the book? $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 17, 2018 at 4:22
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    $\begingroup$ At a guess, I would think it means a salt of oleic acid $\endgroup$
    – Waylander
    Commented Apr 17, 2018 at 10:24
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    $\begingroup$ Actually if you google "ölsaurem Alkali" there's too many German books referring to this term, so I guess there isn't any need for a citation @Pritt ;-) $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 17, 2018 at 12:06
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    $\begingroup$ @GaurangTandon Well, OP's should support their claims, so there is such need. $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Commented Apr 17, 2018 at 13:32

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They were writing it fancy in old times. Sodium acetate would have been "essigsaures Natrium", potassium sulfate "schwefelsaures Kalium" and so on.

Therefor, "ölsaures Alkali" is an alkali salt of oleic acid (Ölsäure).

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