Acetic Acid Properties (23 Facts You Should Know)

Acetic acid is also known as vinegar, methyl carboxylic acid, and ethylic acid. Here we are discussing the properties of acetic acid.

Acetic acid is the simplest mono-carboxylic acid and contains only two carbon atoms. It is a white or colorless organic liquid with a very strong pungent odor. Vinegar is a mixture of water and 4 to 6 percent of acetic acid. Acetic acid is used for various household purposes.

In this article, we are discussing the formula, state, molar mass, melting point, density, viscosity, oxidation state, magnetism, and many more properties of acetic acid and various facts about it.

Acetic acid IUPAC name

The IUPAC name of acetic acid is ethanoic acid.  

Acetic acid chemical formula

The chemical formula of acetic acid is CH3COOH, which contains a methyl –CH3 group and a carboxylic –COOH group.

Acetic acid symbol

Acetic acid CAS number

The CAS number for CH3COOH is 64-19-7.

Acetic acid ChemSpider ID

The ChemSpider ID of CH3COOH is 171.

Acetic acid chemical classification

CH3COOH is classified as an acidic solution and changes red litmus paper to blue confirming its acidic nature.

Acetic acid molar mass

CH3COOH has a molar mass of 60.052 g/mole.

Acetic acid color

CH3COOH is a colorless transparent liquid acidic solution.

Acetic acid viscosity

The viscosity of CH3COOH is 1.155 cP (centipoise).

Acetic acid molar density

The molar density of CH3COOH is 1.0491 g/ml at 20°C and 0.9599 g/ml at 100°C.

Acetic acid melting point

The melting point value of CH3COOH is 16.7 °C (289.9 K, 62.1°F).  

Acetic acid boiling point

The boiling point value of CH3COOH is 118.1 °C (391.24 K, 244.6 °F).

Acetic acid state at room temperature

CH3COOH is a liquid solution compound at room temperature.

Acetic acid covalent bond

CH3COOH is composed of strong covalent bonds. It has two single and one double covalent bond. The covalent bond is a strong bond due to the sigma bond.

Acetic acid oxidation state

The oxidation state of the carbon atom of the CH3COOH carboxylic group is +3.

Acetic acid acidity/alkaline

CH3COOH is a mild or weak acid in nature as it is a monoprotic acid and on ionization, it can release only one proton. It has a pH value of 4.76 which confirms its acidic character.

Is acetic acid odorless?

CH3COOH is not an odorless compound and has a very strong irritating pungent odor.

Acetic acid hydrates

CH3COOH hydrate is the mixture of a 1:1 concentration of acetic acid and water. It has the chemical formula C2H6O3. It is a monohydrate and monoisotopic in nature. The chemical substance which contains water molecules in its structure is called hydrate.

Acetic acid crystal structure

CH3COOH cannot form a crystal structure and it is a liquid substance and not a solid ionic compound. The crystal structure is generally shown by the solid ionic compounds.

Acetic acid polarity and conductivity

  • CH3COOH is a polar molecule with a polarity value of 0.648. It is polar due to more electronegative double-bonded oxygen atoms.
  • CH3COOH is not conducive as it is a weak electrolyte and cannot produce ions. The molar conductivity value of acetic acid is 387Scm2mol−1 at infinite dilution.

Acetic acid reaction with acid

When other strong acids like hydrochloric acid get added to acetic acid, the ionization of CH3COOH gets suppressed. Also, the concentration of hydrogen ion get increases as both Hydrochloric acid or sulphuric acid and acetic acid contains H+ ions. Examples are given below.

CH3COOH + H2SO4 → CH3C(OH)2+

CH3COOH + HSO4– → CH3CO(OH)2 + SO4-2

Acetic acid reaction with base

When CH3COOH reacts with any base undergoes an acid-base reaction and can produce salt and water. The base like sodium hydroxide (NaOH) reacts with CH3COOH and forms sodium acetate and water.


Acetic acid reaction with oxide

When CH3COOH reacts with various metal oxides undergoes a heterogeneous reaction. For example: If CH3COOH reacts with iron oxide and undergoes a ketonization reaction, it forms iron acetate and water.

CH3COOH + 6Fe2O3 → 2(CH3COO)3Fe + 3H2O

Acetic acid reaction with the metal

CH3COOH acts corrosively in reaction with metal elements like iron, magnesium, zinc, etc. When CH3COOH reacts with metals it can form acetate salts and release hydrogen gas. For example Reaction between CH3COOH and magnesium metal is as follows:

2CH3COOH + Mg → (CH3COO)2Mg + H2


Acetic acid is a weak acid. It is a liquid compound with the chemical formula CH3COOH. It has a molar mass of 60.052 g/mole. It has an IUPAC name ethanoic acid. It is a colorless liquid with a strong pungent odor. The viscosity value of acetic acid is 1.155 cP.

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