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Application of Acetic Acid
Acetic acid is a chemical
for the production of chemical compounds. The largest single use of acetic acid is in the production of vinyl acetate
, closely followed by acetic anhydride and ester production. The volume of acetic acid used in vinegar is comparatively small.
Vinyl acetate monomer
The primary use of acetic acid is the production of
vinyl acetate monomer (VAM)
. In 2008, this application was estimated to consume a third of the world's production of acetic acid.
The reaction consists of
and acetic acid with
, conducted in the gas phase.
C−COOH + 2 C
→ 2 H
+ 2 H
Vinyl acetate can be polymerised to
, which are components in
of acetic acid are commonly used as solvents for
. The esters include
. They are typically produced by
reaction from acetic acid and the corresponding
C−COOH + HO−R → H
C−CO−O−R + H
O, (R = a general
Most acetate esters, however, are produced from
. In addition, ether acetates are used as solvents for
removers, and wood stains. First, glycol monoethers are produced from
with alcohol, which are then esterified with acetic acid. The three major products are ethylene glycol monoethyl ether acetate (EEA), ethylene glycol monobutyl ether acetate (EBA), and propylene glycol monomethyl ether acetate (PMA, more commonly known as PGMEA in semiconductor manufacturing processes, where it is used as a resist solvent). This application consumes about 15% to 20% of worldwide acetic acid. Ether acetates, for example EEA, have been shown to be harmful to human reproduction.
The product of the
of two molecules of acetic acid is
. The worldwide production of acetic anhydride is a major application, and uses approximately 25% to 30% of the global production of acetic acid. The main process involves dehydration of acetic acid to give
at 700–750 °C. Ketene is thereafter reacted with acetic acid to obtain the anhydride:
H → CH
=C=O + H
H + CH
=C=O → (CH
Acetic anhydride is an
agent. As such, its major application is for
, a synthetic
also used for
. Acetic anhydride is also a reagent for the production of
and other compounds.
Use as solvent
Glacial acetic acid is an excellent polar
, as noted
. It is frequently used as a solvent for
to purify organic compounds. Acetic acid is used as a
in the production of
(TPA), the raw material for
(PET). In 2006, about 20% of acetic acid was used for TPA production.
Acetic acid is often used as a solvent for reactions involving
, such as
. For example, one stage in the commercial manufacture of synthetic
; here acetic acid acts both as a solvent and as a
to trap the
Glacial acetic acid is used in analytical chemistry for the estimation of weakly alkaline substances such as organic amides. Glacial acetic acid is a much weaker
than water, so the amide behaves as a strong base in this medium. It then can be titrated using a solution in glacial acetic acid of a very strong acid, such as
Acetic acid injection into the tumor has been used to treat cancer since the 1800s.
Acetic acid is used as part of
cervical cancer screening
in many areas in the
. Acetic acid is applied to the
and if an area of white appears after about a minute the test is positive.
It is an effective antiseptic when used as a 1% solution, with broad spectrum of activity against streptococci, staphylococci, pseudomonas, enterococci and others. It may be an option for skin infections caused by pseudomonas resistant to typical antibiotics.
While diluted acetic acid is used in
, no high quality evidence supports this treatment in rotator cuff disease.
As a treatment for
, it is on the
World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines
, the most important medications needed in a basic
Acetic acid has 349 kcal per 100g. Vinegar is typically 4–18% acetic acid by mass. Vinegar is used directly as a
, and in the
of vegetables and other foods. Table vinegar tends to be more diluted (4% to 8% acetic acid), while commercial food pickling employs solutions that are more concentrated. The proportion of acetic acid used worldwide as vinegar is not as large as commercial uses, but is by far the oldest and best-known application.
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