Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso

Acetic Acid

  • Kensei KobayashiEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_16-4


Acetic Acid Melting Point Carboxylic Acid Human Liver Boiling Point 
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Acetic acid is a carboxylic acid with the chemical formula CH3COOH Open image in new window . It is a colorless liquid at room temperature with an irritating odor. Pure anhydrous acetic acid is sometimes called glacial acetic acid. It can be obtained by oxidation of acetaldehyde, which occurs in human liver catalyzed by the enzyme aldehyde dehydrogenase, or by the hydrolysis of acetonitrile. It is easily formed in chemical evolution experiments, e.g., it was found among the products of spark discharge experiment in a gas mixture of methane, ammonia, hydrogen, and water by S. L. Miller in 1953. It has been found in extracts from carbonaceous chondrites and has also been identified in molecular clouds. Melting point: 16.6 °C, boiling point: 117.8 °C, density: 1.0492 g cm−3, acidity constant (pK a): 4.76.

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Yokohama National UniversityYokohamaJapan