Acetic Acid

Chemical Description

Acetic acid, also called ethanoic acid, is a two-carbon carboxylic acid. It is a colorless liquid with a distinctive sour taste and pungent smell. In a 4%-8% mixture with water, acetic acid is the main component of vinegar. In this form it is a weak acid, but pure acetic acid, which is also known as glacial acetic acid, is a corrosive liquid. It is an organic acid and an ecologically friendly product.

Common Industrial Uses of Acetic Acid

Used commonly as a chemical reagent in the production of chemical compounds, acetic acid is used worldwide for the production of vinyl acetate monomer, acetic anhydride, and esters. These compounds are components in products such as paints and adhesives, inks, coatings, resins, fibers, and synthetic textiles used in film. Glacial acetic acid is a potent solvent and used to purify organic compounds and is the raw material for PET.

Acetic acid is a commercially important organic acid for the production of a wide range of chemical products, such as plastics and insecticides.

Acetic Acid in the Oil and Gas Industry

Chemical Formula

  • C2H4O2 (can also be written as CH3COOH or CH3CO2H)


  • 64-19-7

Minimum Order Quantity

(40,000 pounds)

Note: CCUSA is a wholesale industrial and commercial bulk chemical supplier.

Safety Considerations

Concentrated acetic acid is corrosive and will burn skin, cause permanent eye damage, and irritate mucous membranes. At 10-25% concentration by weight, acetic acid is classified as an irritant, at 25-90% it is corrosive, and above 90% it is corrosive and flammable.

It should be handled with extreme care to prevent damage to living tissue. Proper personal protection must include nitrile rubber gloves, eye shields, and respirators. Contact with skin could result in burns, itching, reddening, scaling, or blistering. Inhalation may cause severe irritation of the respiratory tract. Prolonged exposure could result in chronic skin and respiratory conditions.

Acetic acid is incompatible with, and should be kept away from, ethylene glycol, chromic acid, nitric acid, permanganates, perchloric acid, peroxides, and hydroxyls.

Back to Top