Difference Between Acetic Acid And Glacial Acetic Acid

The Key Difference Between Acetic Acid And Glacial Acetic Acid is that acetic acid (CH3COOH) is a chemical compound and is a colorless liquid. It is also known as ethanoic acid and has a distinct sour taste and smell.

Acetic acid is an important chemical in the chemical industry and is used in a wide variety of industrial applications including producing polyurethane fibers, polyester polymers, vinyl acetate, plastics, adhesives, antifreeze, and as a component of household vinegar (a dilute solution of acetic acid and water). It is also found naturally.

What is Acetic Acid?

Acetic Acid

Acetic acid (Also known as Ethanoic acid) is found naturally in all living organisms, usually bound in the form of a salt. These are called organic acids. The main source of acetic acid is vinegar, a dilute solution of acetic acid in water.
The Production and Uses
Acetic acid is made by fermenting ethanol, the alcohol in alcoholic beverages. Fermenting the ethanol produces a mixture of acetic acid and water, which can be concentrated and purified to make pure acetic acid.

Usage of Acetic acid

Acetic acid As a Solvent

Acetic acid has acidic properties because the hydrogen center separates the carboxyl group (-COOH) by ionization and releases protons.

CH3CO2H → CH3CO2 – + H +

This makes acetic acid a monobasic acid with a pKa value of 4.76 in an aqueous solution. The concentration of the solution significantly interferes with dissolution to form acetate (CH3COO-), which is a conjugate base with hydrogen ions.

At a concentration comparable to the concentration of vinegar (1.0 M), the pH is about 2.4 and only about 0.4% of the acetic acid molecules dissociate. However, in very dilute solutions, more than 90% of the acid dissolves.

Acetic acid is a versatile solvent. Acetic acid is a hydrophilic aprotate solvent like water or ethanol. Acetic acid dissolves polar and nonpolar compounds and is compatible with polar (water) and nonpolar (hexane, chloroform) solvents. However, acetic acid is not completely miscible with higher alkanes like octane.

Acetic acid In Medicine

Acetic acid is an effective preservative even at a 1% concentration and is used to kill Enterococci, Streptococci, Staphylococci, and Pseudomonas. Dilute acetic acid can be used to control skin infections caused by antibiotic bacteria, especially Pseudomonas.

Acetic acid injection into tumors has been a cancer treatment since the early 19th century. The application of diluted acetic acid 1 is a safe and effective treatment for otitis externa. 2 Acetic acids is also used as a rapid screening test for cervical cancer. .3

If cancer is present, the acetic acid that is destroyed from the cervix will turn white within 1 minute.used in Biochemistry

Acetic acid ionizes to form acetate at physiological pH. Acetyl groups are essential for life. Acetobacter (eg, Acetobacter and Clostridium/Acetobacter) produce acetic acid. Fruits produce acetic acid as they ripen. In humans and other primates, acetic acid is a component of vaginal discharge and acts as an antibacterial agent. When the acetyl group is attached to coenzyme A, the holoenzyme is used for the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates.

What is Glacial Acetic Acid?

Glacial acetic acid is an organic compound. It is also known as ethanoic acid in the IUPAC nomenclature system. This compound is a colorless liquid with a mildly pungent odor. It is used in many industrial applications like textile dyeing, metal cleaning processes, and other chemical processes. It was first prepared by the Swedish chemist Karl Wilhelm Scheele in 1780. He had been investigating the substances that are produced during fermentation.

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Difference Between Acetic Acid And Glacial Acetic Acid

  • Acetic Acid (CH3COOH) is a colorless liquid acid that has a pungent aroma and acidity.
  • Pure acetic anhydride, which forms ice crystals at temperatures below 16.7°C, is called glacial acetic acid.
    Acetic acid contains water, but glacial acetic acid does not.
  • Acetic acid does not form crystals, but at temperatures below 16.7°C, glacial acetic acid forms ice-like crystals.
  • In nature, acetic acid is found in plant and animal organisms. Pure acetic anhydride does not exist in nature.
  • Acetic acid can be produced by fermentation of acetic acid, direct catalytic oxidation of acetaldehyde or butane, and carbonation of rhodium-iodine methanol catalyst. When acetic acid is in contact with crystallized glacial acetic acid, pure acetic acid adheres to the crystals.
  • Acetic acid is used in the food industry and in the home (vinegar). To organize photographic films; to remove scale deposits from cranes and boilers. Throw a jellyfish sting. As a preservative for silage, etc.
  • Glacial acetic acid is used in the production of terephthalic acid, propylene terephthalate, synthetic camphor, aniline, etc.
  • Acetic acid is not dangerous in low concentrations. Glacial acetic acid is corrosive and its vapors irritate the eyes and nose. Contact with eyes or skin may cause injury.
  • Acetic acid can be used in food and other foods and is harmless, but it is corrosive and it is not safe to use glacial acetic acid when cooking food.
  • Acetic acid cannot be frozen to form crystals, but glacial acetic acid is frozen at low temperatures to convert concentrations of acetic acid to crystals.
  • The chemical formula of acetic acid is C2H402 and the chemical formula of glacial acetic acid is CH3COOH.


Care must be taken when handling all types of acids in the laboratory. Acetic acid is a weak acid but can cause damage in a concentrated state. This concentrated acetic acid is called glacial acetic acid due to its ability to form crystals at low temperatures (16.5oC).

The main difference between acetic acid and glacial acetic acid is that acetic acid solution contains a large amount of water in acetic acid, while glacial acetic acid contains less than 1% water.

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