What is ethanoic acid

Acetic acid belongs to the family of carboxylic acids (organic acids) and reacts with metals to form acetates, the salts of acetic acid. Their acid properties are caused by the H atom in the COOH group. This can be given off to a water molecule.

Acetic acid is found in many vegetable juices and in essential oils. If wine is left in the air for several weeks, the alcohol in the wine is oxidized to form acetic acid and the wine becomes acidic. This procedure was already used in antiquity.

In addition to the acetic acid fermentation from alcohol, it can also be obtained by dry distillation of wood at approx. 350 ° C. The distillate contains about 82% water, 7% dissolved tar and 8-10% acids, which mainly consist of acetic acid.

Table vinegar contains about 5% acetic acid, vinegar essence up to 25% acid. Limescale deposits can be loosened with vinegar essence. It has a strong germicidal effect and is therefore used as a food additive for preserving food (E 260). In the chemical industry, acetic acid is an important intermediate product in the manufacture of synthetic fibers, plastics, fragrances and medicines.

Acetic acid chemical profile
Acetic acid as a hazardous substance in the ICSC