Acids, Bases and Salts

Acetic Acid – Definition and Uses of Acetic Acid

Introduction to Acetic Acid

We associate acetic acid generally with vinegar. The sour and pungent smell you smell in vinegar is due to acetic acid only. This acid is well-known mostly because of its strong presence in vinegar.

However, this acid has many other uses as well. It is essentially a household item which comes in use a lot of times daily.

acetic acid

What is Acetic Acid?

Acetic Acid is a two-carbon carboxylic acid. The chemical formula of this acid is CH3COOH. Commercially, this is one of the most essential organic acids.

It is manufactured in a wide range of chemical goods as well as plastics and insecticides. This acid also refers to as methane carboxylic acid and ethanoic acid. It is basically clear and colourless.

Moreover, the smell of it is quite strong and bitter. Fascinatingly, the term ‘acetic’ originates from the Latin language which translates to ‘vinegar’. Similarly, vinegar can be said to be the dilute form of this acid.

Acetic Acid Uses in Food Industry

The food industry benefits greatly from acetic acid. It helps in the pickling of food items and is also found in condiments like ketchup, mayonnaise, and mustard. Moreover, this acid also comes in use while seasoning different types of food items including salads.

Furthermore, it is also very useful in the baking process. The vinegar reacts with alkaline elements like baking soda. This result in the production of a gas that helps the baked items becomes puffier.

Acetic Acid Uses at Home

As stated earlier, acetic acid is used expansively as vinegar. Thus, we all know vinegar has so many uses that help in our household practices. We use it for cleaning, doing our laundry and also cooking. Additionally, vinegar also helps in unclogging various household items.

Moreover, the farmers use acetic acid on their livestock fodder to protect it against infectious and fungal development. This helps in keeping their livestock healthier.

Acetic Uses in Industrial Usage

Various industrial procedures are incomplete without the use of acetic acids. It helps in the production of substrates. Moreover, it is also used as a chemical substance for producing various chemical compounds like vinyl acetate monomer, ester, polymeric materials, vinegar and more.

Furthermore, it also helps greatly in acting as a solvent for recrystallization to purify organic compounds. Moreover, inks and dyes are manufactures using acetic acids as well as fragrances. Several rubber and plastic factories also use it in the manufacturing process.

Acetic Acid Uses in Medicine

This acid has a lot of medicinal uses. It serves the medical field greatly.

We can use it as an antiseptic to fight enterococci, staphylococci, pseudomonas and more. We also treat several infections using this acid.

Moreover, cervical cancer screening also utilizes this acid. Similarly, it acts as an agent to lyse RBC’s before examination of WBC’s. Further, vinegar also helps in reducing high absorptions of blood sugar.

In short, we see how almost every sector has great use of acetic acid. It ranges from small household chores to big manufacturing processes.

Additionally, it also decreases inflammation and lowers blood pressure. Thus, it helps in the smooth functioning of the body and keeps our health in check.

Solved Question for You

Question- What is the other name for Acetic acid?

A. Methanecarboxylic acid
B. Hydrochloric acid
C. Phosphorous acid
D. None of the above

Answer- The correct answer is option ‘A’. Acetic acid is also called methane carboxylic acid and ethanoic acid.

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