acetic acid

acetic acid
a colorless, pungent, water-miscible liquid, C2H4O2, the essential constituent of vinegar, produced by oxidation of acetaldehyde, bacterial action on ethyl alcohol, the reaction of methyl alcohol with carbon monoxide, and other processes: used chiefly in the manufacture of acetate fibers and in the production of numerous esters that are solvents and flavoring agents. Cf. glacial acetic acid.

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Most important carboxylic acid (CH3COOH).

Pure ("glacial") acetic acid is a clear, syrupy, corrosive liquid that mixes readily with water. Vinegar is its dilute solution, from fermentation and oxidation (see oxidation-reduction) of natural products. Its salts and esters are acetates. It occurs naturally as a metabolic intermediate in body fluids and plant juices. Industrial production is either synthetic, from acetylene, or biological, from ethanol. Industrial chemicals made from it are used in printing and as plastics, photographic films, textiles, and solvents.

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also called  ethanoic acid 
 the most important of the carboxylic acids (carboxylic acid). A dilute (approximately 5 percent by volume) solution of acetic acid produced by fermentation and oxidation of natural carbohydrates (carbohydrate) is called vinegar; a salt, ester, or acylal of acetic acid is called acetate. Industrially, acetic acid is used in the preparation of metal acetates, used in some printing processes; vinyl acetate, employed in the production of plastics (plastic); cellulose acetate, used in making photographic films and textiles; and volatile organic esters (such as ethyl and butyl acetates), widely used as solvents for resins (resin), paints, and lacquers. Biologically, acetic acid is an important metabolic intermediate, and it occurs naturally in body fluids and in plant juices.

      Acetic acid has been prepared on an industrial scale by air oxidation of acetaldehyde, by oxidation of ethanol ( ethyl alcohol), and by oxidation of butane and butene. Today acetic acid is manufactured by a process developed by the chemical company Monsanto (Monsanto Company) in the 1960s; it involves a rhodium-iodine catalyzed carbonylation of methanol (methyl alcohol).

      Pure acetic acid, often called glacial acetic acid, is a corrosive, colourless liquid (boiling point 117.9 °C [244.2 °F]; melting point 16.6 °C [61.9 °F]) that is completely miscible with water.

William H. Brown

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Universalium. 2010.

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