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acetic acid

acetic acid (əsē´tĬk), CH3CO2H, colorless liquid that has a characteristic pungent odor, boils at 118°C, and is miscible with water in all proportions; it is a weak organic carboxylic acid (see carboxyl group). Glacial acetic acid is concentrated, 99.5% pure acetic acid; it solidifies at about 17°C to a crystalline mass resembling ice. Acetic acid is the major acid in vinegar; as such, it is widely used as a food preservative and condiment. For industrial use concentrated acetic acid is prepared from the oxidation of acetaldehyde. Acetic acid is also a product in the destructive distillation of wood. It reacts with other chemicals to form numerous compounds of commercial importance. These include cellulose acetate, used in making acetate rayon, nonflammable motion-picture film, lacquers, and plastics; various inorganic salts, e.g., lead, potassium, and copper acetates; and amyl, butyl, ethyl, methyl, and propyl acetates, which are used as solvents, chiefly in certain quick-drying lacquers and cements. Amyl acetate is sometimes called banana oil because it has a characteristic banana odor.

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acetic acid

acetic acid (ethanoic acid) A carboxylic acid, CH3COOH, that is used as a carbon source by certain green algae. Combined with coenzyme A (see acetyl coenzyme A), it plays a crucial role in the energy metabolism of all organisms.

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acetic acid

acetic acid One of the simplest organic acids, also known systematically as ethanoic acid, chemically it is CH3COOH. It is the acid of vinegar, and is formed, together with lactic acid, in the fermentation (pickling) of foods.

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acetic acid

acetic acid (ă-see-tik) n. the acid that is present in vinegar. It is used in the preparation of astringent and antiseptic medicines and in urine testing. Formula: CH3COOH.

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