In what way is the functional group of an ester different from that of a carboxylic acid?
The presence of OH
The presence of Hydrogen in
Carboxylic acids are acids like
This means that the above reaction is subject to Lee-Chatlier Principle and Common ion effect. Hence the mixture of carboxylic acids and their salts with bases form a solution which is of constant pH. This solution is called buffer solution. (e.g) Acetic acid and Sodium acetate.
The esters on the other hand are products of carboxylic acids and alcohols. They are of general formula
This reaction is the one used in Soap manufacturing. They hydrolyse the oils with Potassium hydroxide and form potassium salts of the carboxylic acids and the glycerol is separated and used for other purposes like manufacture of moisturising creams etc. The potassium salts are soaps which is then made into a solid masses. This reaction is called Saponification reaction.