Acetic acid (ethanoic acid) (CH₃COOH)

Acetic acid (ethanoic acid) (CH₃COOH)

One of the products of the oxidation of ethanol.



acetic acid, ethanoic acid, vinegar, carboxylic acid, carboxyl group, fermentation, glacial acetic acid, acetates, oxidation, ethanol, organic chemistry, chemistry

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Acetic acid, ethanoic acid CH₃COOH


Molar mass: 60.05 g/mol

Melting point: 16.6 °C (61.88 °F)

Boiling point: 117.9 °C (244.22 °F)

Density: 1.0492 g/cm³ (0.0379 lb/in³)

Heat of combustion: -874.2 kJ/mol


Acetic acid is a colorless liquid with a pungent odor. It dissolves well in water. It is a weak acid.

Water-free acetic acid freezes below 16 °C (60.8 °F), so it is commonly called glacial acetic acid. Its salts are called acetates.

Occurrence and production

Acetic acid is often present in fermentation, decay and oxidation processes. The acetyl group is a residue anion of acetic acid, from which our bodies can form several compounds. Acetyl groups break down into carbon dioxide and water in ATP-producing processes.

Acetic acid is produced during the fermentation of alcoholic liquids by acetic acid bacteria. It is a secondary oxidation product of ethanol.


In addition to the food industry, large quantities of acetic acid are used in the production of synthetic fibers, dyes and medicines.

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Formic acid (methanoic acid) (HCOOH)

Formic acid is the simplest carboxylic acid.

Acetaldehyde (ethanal) (CH₃CHO)

An aldehyde which is an important raw material and intermediate product in industry.

Acetone (C₃H₆O)

The simplest representative of ketones.

Ethane (C₂H₆)

The second member in the homologous series of straight-chain alkanes.

Ethanol (ethyl alcohol) (C₂H₅OH)

The best known alcohol, important in the food industry.

Ethyl acetate (C₄H₈O₂)

One of the most important esters, produced by the reaction of ethanol and acetic acid.

Methane (CH₄)

The first member in the homologous series of alkanes.

Molecule exercise V (Oxo compounds)

An exercise about the groups and structure of oxo compounds.

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