Acetic Acid

General Information (more on wikipedia)

Species Molecular Weight (g/mol) Density (g/L) Radius (m) Reference
Acetic acid 60.05 1049 R [1]

Acetic acid, also known as ethanoic acid, is an organic chemical compound with the formula CH3COOH best recognized for giving vinegar its sour taste and pungent smell. Pure, water-free acetic acid (glacial acetic acid) is a colourless liquid that attracts water from the environment (hygroscopy), and freezes below 16.7°C (62°F) to a colourless crystalline solid. Acetic acid is corrosive, and its vapour causes irritation to the eyes, a dry and burning nose, sore throat and congestion to the lungs, however, it is considered a weak acid due to the fact that at standard temperature and pressure the dissociated acid exists in equilibrium with the undissociated form in aqueous solutions, in contrast to strong acids, which are fully dissociated.

Acetic acid is one of the simplest carboxylic acids (the second-simplest, next to formic acid). It is an important chemical reagent and industrial chemical that is used in the production of polyethylene terephthalate mainly used in soft drink bottles; cellulose acetate, mainly for photographic film; and polyvinyl acetate for wood glue, as well as many synthetic fibres and fabrics. In households diluted acetic acid is often used in descaling agents. In the food industry acetic acid is used under the food additive code E260 as an acidity regulator.

Acetic acid is produced both synthetically and by bacterial fermentation. Today, the biological route accounts for only about 10% of world production, but it remains important for vinegar production, as many of the world food purity laws stipulate that vinegar used in foods must be of biological origin. About 75% of acetic acid made for use in the chemical industry is made by methanol carbonylation, explained below. Alternative methods account for the rest.

Diffusion of Acetic Acid in water

  • Alone at 25 degrees: $D = 1210 \ \mu m^{2}s^{-1}$ [1]

Diffusion of Acetic Acid in cytoplasm

  • Alone:
1. Cussler, E. L. 1984. Diffusion - mass transfer in fluid systems. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
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