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What is the common name for acetic acid?

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Quick Answer

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.

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Full Answer

Acetic acid consists of two carbon atoms, two oxygen atoms and four hydrogen atoms. In addition to being used to create vinegar, it is also used in certain commercial manufacturing processes, most notably to produce some plastics and paints. Acetic acid is most commonly created by mixing carbon monoxide with methanol. However, vinegar can also be synthesized directly by fermenting ethanol with acetic acid bacteria.

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