Acetic acid is an organic solvent that is used for a variety of industrial, analytical and medical purposes. It has the structural formula "CH3COOH" and exists as a colorless liquid at room temperature. Acetic acid is a component of vinegar and is what gives vinegar its characteristic smell.Continue Reading
Acetic acid is used in industrial fields as a precursor for making various metal acetates, cellulose acetate and vinyl acetate. Metal acetates are used in printing, and cellulose acetate is used to make film for photography. Vinyl acetate is a component in most plastics. Acetic acid is also used to make many different esters used in analytical chemistry. These esters are used as solvents in many commercial products, such as inks and paints.
Medically, acetic acid is used as an otic solution in the treatment of external ear infections and in physical therapy to treat soft tissue damage in athletes. Acetic acid is also used in several countries as a food additive to regulate the acidity of certain foods and condiments. While not a strong acid, acetic acid is corrosive and can damage the skin and eyes if contact with the undiluted compound occurs. It is also flammable and should be kept away from open flames.Learn more about Acids & Bases
Acetic acid is most commonly known as vinegar. While vinegar is regularly used as a food topping, it is a diluted form of acetic acid formed by mixing pure acetic acid and a substantial volume of water.Full Answer >
Acetic acid is a weak electrolyte that is categorized as a weak acid. Acetic acid is a weak electrolyte because it only ionizes partially. In a solution, the ions of a weak acid tend to recombine to form the acid, unlike a strong acid that dissociates into ions.Full Answer >
The conductivity of an acetic acid solution generally increases as concentration is increased. The more acetic acid is dissolved in water, the higher the chance of there being acetic acid molecules that dissociate into positive and negative hydronium and acetyl groups that conduct electricity.Full Answer >
In general, manufacturers dilute the acetic acid in vinegar to the 5 percent to 10 percent level. The amount varies based on the dilution by the manufacturer.Full Answer >