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Ethanoic Acid

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Ethanoic acid is commonly called acetic acid and belongs to a group of acids called carboxylic

acids. 5-8% solution of acetic acid in water is called vinegar and is used widely as a preservative in pickles.

The melting point of pure ethanoic acid is 290 K and hence it often freezes during winter in cold climates. Hence known as glacial acetic acid.


Reactions of ethanoic acid:

(i) Esterification reaction:

Esters are most commonly formed by reaction of an acid and an alcohol. Ethanoic acid reacts with absolute ethanol in the presence of an acid catalyst to give an ester –

Generally, esters are sweet-smelling substances. These are used in making perfumes and as flavouring agents. On treating with sodium hydroxide, which is an alkali, the ester is converted back to alcohol and sodium salt of carboxylic acid. This reaction is known as saponification because it is used in the preparation of soap.

Soaps are sodium or potassium salts of long chain carboxylic acid.

(ii) Reaction with a base:

Like mineral acids, ethanoic acid reacts with a base such as sodium hydroxide to give a salt (sodium ethanoate or commonly called sodium acetate) and water.

(iii) Reaction with carbonates and hydrogencarbonates:

Ethanoic acid reacts with carbonates and hydrogencarbonates to give rise to a salt, carbon dioxide and water. The salt produced is commonly called sodium acetate.

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Video Tutorials

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Series 3 | Carbon and Compounds part 26 (Ethanoic Acid)

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Carbon and Compounds part 26 (Ethanoic Acid) [00:06:42]
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