Acetic acid is a weak acid that is probably most famous for being the primary acid in Vinegar. In fact, acetic acid has a wide range of uses beyond sprinkling on salads, and it is produced in large volumes all over the world. People have been working with this acid in a number of contexts for centuries, with acetic acid being one of the substances explored by alchemists, the predecessors of modern chemists.
This organic acid can be prepared in varying concentrations. In pure form, it is known as glacial acetic acid because it crystallizes in cool temperatures. This form of the acid is extremely corrosive and can be hazardous to work with, requiring special precautions for protection. Vinegar, by contrast, usually has an acetic acid concentration of around five percent.
This clear, colorless acid has a distinctive sour taste, although tasting it is not recommended unless it is clearly labeled as fit for human consumption.
Industrially, the acid is used in a wide range of processes. It is also used in chemical production and research, in settings where people have the need for a weak acid. Like other acids, acetic acid is corrosive for many substances, and it can be involved in a variety of chemical reactions. It is used as a solvent, a reagent, a catalyst, and a pesticide. It can be used in the preparation of paints, varnishes, and glazes, and in medical treatment, as for example in the treatment of jellyfish stings.
Chemical Formula: CH3COOH
CAS No: 64-19-7