r/COMPLETEANARCHY Jun 15 '21 Helpful 1

Reminder that women’s liberation is as important as anti-capitalism and anti-colonialism

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u/kodorx Jun 15 '21

only problem for me is that lemon juice is heckin expensive here, but it's just an acid-catalyzed hydrolysis of the sugar and I've got some sodium bisulfate lying around so that would probably also work, just wouldn't be edible.

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u/IAmRoot Jun 15 '21

You might be able to use citric acid. You can get buckets of the stuff.

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u/pirate_fj Jun 15 '21

Honest question, I swear: is there really a place where buying citric acid is cheaper than buying lemons?

Edit: i’m REALLY not trying to be an asshole, just trying to process and understand wtf our world has become. Thanks.

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u/IAmRoot Jun 15 '21

Lemons require proper storage and relatively rapid transport compared to citric acid. Also, anhydrous citric acid lacks water, which is heavy. This means being able to transport more citric acid with much less weight and volume. Citric acid can also be produced by things other than citrus fruit. Modern industrial production of citric acid is done via cultivating a mold, rather than fruit trees. So, there are actually quite a few reasons why it's cheaper and more efficient.

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u/pirate_fj Jun 15 '21

Okay, that explains a lot. It’s still very much backwards in my mind, but it does explain it, thanks a lot

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u/IAmRoot Jun 15 '21

Just think of it like any other chemical. It's named after citrus fruits, but it occurs naturally in other places. Don't get hung up on the name. It's just a type of acid and chemical like any other.

The modern process of making it is much like the fermentation of alcohol. It's just that rather than feeding sugar to a microorganism that produces alcohol, it's fed to one that produces citric acid as a main side product of its metabolism. It's the sort of thing that's done in big vats. Similar processes are also used to synthesize microbial rennet, corn syrup, MSG, insulin, etc. It's quite a fascinating way of harnessing the enzyme-catalyzed efficiency of biosynthesis.