Characterization and use of acetic acid

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This is one of the basic products obtained in the process of industrial organic synthesis. Acetic acid has no color, but differs in a specific smell and taste, its production is carried out by oxidation of a certain aldehyde; due to its chemical properties, it can cause significant harm to humans, so the liquid is used only in the form of aqueous solutions. More than half of the product is spent on the manufacture of polymers, as well as derivatives of vinyl acetate and cellulose..

What is acetic acid?

This is a synthetic product formed by the fermentation of ethanol and carbohydrates or after the natural souring of dry wine varieties. Ethanoic acid is involved in metabolic processes in the human body. Acidic liquid, in addition, is used for the preparation of preservation, marinades. Certain properties of the product make it indispensable in a variety of chemical compounds, household products.


The composition of acetic acid includes vinegar 3-9% vinegar and 70-80% vinegar essence. Salts and esters of the product are called acetates. Common vinegar, which is used in cooking, contains malic, ascorbic, acetic and lactic acids. About 5 million tons of ethanoic acid are produced annually in the world. Its chemical formula is as follows: C2H4O2.


What are acetic acid made of today? To obtain technical fluids, woody black powder is used, which contains a large amount of resinous substances. The most advantageous chemical method for producing the product is the oxidation of ethanal or acetaldehyde, which is obtained in industry either by hydration of acetylene with mercury salts (the method is called Chugaev’s reaction) or by oxidation of ethyl alcohol over red-hot copper. Acetaldehyde is independently oxidized by oxygen and is transformed into acetic acid.

Acetic acid solution is transported at different distances in automobile or railway tanks made from special types of stainless steel materials. In warehouses, the liquid is stored in sealed containers, containers, barrels under awnings or in special rooms. Pour and store acid in a polymer container is allowed for a maximum of one month.

Acetic acid


Acetic acid solutions, which are used by the food industry, household cooking, preservation, are called vinegar and vinegar essence. Absolute concentrated acid is called glacial, because when it freezes, it is converted into a mass that resembles ice in structure. Different concentrations of acetic acid determine the following product classification:

  • essence (contains 30-80% acid, is a component of medicines for itching, fungi);
  • ice-cold (96% solution, used to remove corns, warts);
  • table vinegar (has a concentration of 3, 6 or 9%, is actively used for domestic purposes);
  • acetate substance (acid ester);
  • natural apple cider vinegar (has a low acid percentage, used by cosmetologists, chefs);
  • balsamic vinegar (table product infused with certain herbs).


The clear liquid has a pungent odor and has a density of 1.05 g / cm2. The physical properties of acetic acid cause it to freeze at a temperature of 16.6 degrees, while the substance takes the form of transparent crystals resembling ice (because of this, concentrated acidic liquid is called icy). Acid has the ability to actively absorb moisture from the air, it can neutralize basic oxides and hydrates, and, in addition, displace carbon dioxide from carbonic salts.

The effect of acetic acid on the human body

Acetic product is classified as a substance with a third hazard class due to its flammability and dangerous effects on the body. In any work with the substance, specialists use modern means of protection (gas masks). Even the food supplement E-260 can be toxic to the body, but the degree of its effect depends on the concentration and quality of the product. A dangerous effect of vinegar on the body is possible with acidity above 30%. If the concentrated substance interacts with the skin / mucous membranes, severe chemical burns will appear on the body.

When used wisely, vinegar will help eliminate many diseases and cosmetic defects. So, the vinegar product is used for the treatment of colds and rheumatism as a preparation for grinding. Acidic liquid also has a bactericidal effect: a natural antiseptic helps to destroy fungi and other pathogenic flora in tonsillitis, pharyngitis, and thrush. Vinegar is useful for hair, as it is an excellent anti-dandruff remedy. For skin, the liquid is used in cosmetic wraps and as a remedy for itching after an insect bite.

The girl has a sore throat


The effect of the vinegar product on the human body resembles the effect of nitric, sulfuric or hydrochloric acids, with the main difference being the surface effect of vinegar. The lethal dose for a person is 12 ml: this amount is approximately equal to a glass of table vinegar or 20-40 ml of essence. Acetal vapors in the lungs become the cause of pneumonia with complications. Other symptoms of an overdose are:

  • liver hemorrhage;
  • tissue necrosis;
  • burn of internal organs;
  • ulceration of the digestive tract;
  • nephrosis with concomitant death of renal cells.

The use of acetic acid

Acidic liquid is widely used in various fields. It is indispensable for pharmacology, since it serves as a component of aspirin, phenacetin and other drugs. During nitration, aromatic amines of the NH2 group are protected by introducing the acetyl group of CH3CO – this is also a common reaction in which vinegar is involved. The product plays an important role in the production of acetone, cellulose acetate, various synthetic dyes..

The manufacture of various perfumes and non-combustible types of films is not complete without a product. Often acidic liquid is used in the food industry, in the role of additives E-260. At the same time, household cooking and canning are not complete without vinegar. When dyeing, the main types of acid salts serve as special mordants, providing a strong bond between textile fibers and dye. Acetic salts are often used to eliminate the most persistent pests..

In medicine

In pharmacology and the medical field, liquid is used as the basis of medicines, for example acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin). In addition, acetic acid salts of lead and aluminum are obtained from it, which act as astringents and are used to treat inflammatory processes of various etymologies. Vinegar has an antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic effect, so it is used for headache, fever, neuralgia, etc..

An acidic substance is often combined with other medicines in folk medicine to treat many pathologies – polyarthritis, lichen, rheumatism, head lice, alcohol poisoning, warts, radiculitis, etc. Examples of product use:

  1. Wipe at high temperature. It is better to use rice, apple or wine natural vinegar, but you can also take ordinary table vinegar (6 or 9%). For 0.5 l of warm water, add 1 tbsp. l vinegar, mix the composition, and then use for grinding.
  2. Remedy for atherosclerosis. From 4 heads of garlic and 5 lemons, you need to squeeze the juice, mix the components with 0.5 l of honey and 50 ml of vinegar (apple). Take the composition you need for 1 tbsp. l. mixed with? Art. water, three times a day. The course of therapy is 3 months.

Apple vinegar

In cosmetology

The product showed its effectiveness in the fight against excess weight and sagging skin. A course of vinegar wraps eliminates cellulite almost completely. In addition, it is known about the use of liquid for the treatment of acne, acne and dandruff: this result is achievable due to the bactericidal properties of vinegar. Product Application Examples:

  1. Acetic peeling. Gauze folded in several layers is dipped in slightly warmed wine vinegar (first you need to make cuts for the lips and eyes). The compress is placed on the face for 10 minutes. After removing the material, you need to walk for another hour without washing. After that you need to take a napkin or a sponge of medium hardness, wipe it with your face, and then wash with cool water.
  2. Means against calluses. Mix 1 liter of warm water with 0.5 tbsp. apple cider vinegar and 1 tbsp. l baking soda. Feet hover for at least 15 minutes, after which, with the help of pumice, keratinized tissues are easily removed.
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