Carboxylic acid

Carboxylic acids are organic compounds that have one or more groups - COOH - attached to the carbon chain.

This group is called carboxyl (carbonyl + hydroxyl).

Here are some carboxylic acids:


Carboxylic acids are very present in our daily lives. The simplest acid is one that contains only one carbon, metanoic acid or formic acid. It was named after it (formic) because it comes from the ant and bee stings.


This acid is a colorless, water-soluble liquid with a spicy, strong and irritating odor. Contact with the skin may cause blisters similar to those caused by burns, itching and swelling.

Metanoic acid can be used in wool dyeing, tanning, as a preservative of fruit juices and in the production of disinfectant.

Etanoic acid is the best known carboxylic acid. Also known as acetic acid, is responsible for the sour smell and taste of vinegar. The word acetum means sour, vinegar. The origin of etanoic acid dates back to ancient times from sour wines.

In vinegar, which is used for seasoning salads, only 5% of ethane acid and the remaining water are used.


Ethane acid is a colorless liquid with a penetrating smell, sour taste and soluble in water, ether and alcohol.

Commercially, it is sold as glacial acetic acid because it has the property of freezing to 16.7 ° C, making it look like ice.

It is used in the nutrition and production of some organic compounds such as plastics, esters, cellulose acetates and inorganic acetates. The reaction that forms ethaneic acid is as follows:

One of the components of grapes as well as wine is 2,3-hydroxybutanoic acid or tartaric acid. It was discovered by the chemist Louis Pasteurin 1848.

It is also used in effervescents such as fruit salts.

Another acid that can be found in some fruits is ascorbic acid. It is known as vitamin C. We can find this acid in citrus fruits such as orange, tangerine, lemon, acerola, kiwi, plum and tomato.