C2H3O2− ion, a salt, ester, or acylal derived from acetic acid. Acetates are important in the biochemical synthesis of fats from carbohydrates in plants and animals. Industrially, metal acetates are used in printing, vinyl acetate in plastic production, cellulose acetate in photographic films and textiles (one of the first synthetic fibres, often called simply acetate), and volatile organic esters as solvents.
Learn more about acetate with a free trial on Britannica.com.
Acetate - C2H3O2
In organic chemistry, the abbreviation Ac refers to the acetyl group. The anion and the functional group may be written as −OAc and AcO−, or OAc respectively. Examples include HOAc for acetic acid, NaOAc for sodium acetate, and EtOAc for ethyl acetate. Ac is also the symbol for the chemical element actinium, but confusion between actinium and the acetyl group is rare, since actinium has virtually no role in organic chemistry.
Acetate can also refer to cellulose acetate, especially fibres or other derived products such as the acetate disc used in audio record production. Cellulose acetate can be found in many household products.