Chemistry

Difference between mineral acids and organic acids

The main difference between mineral acids and organic acids is that mineral acids can have carbon in their structure, while organic acids must have carbon in their formula.

Key differences

  • Mineral acids are inorganic acids, while organic acids are derived from organic compounds.
  • Mineral acids can have carbon in their structure; conversely, organic acids must have carbon and hydrogen atoms in their structure.
  • Mineral acids are insoluble in polar solvents, while organic acids are soluble in polar solvents.
  • Mineral acids originate from mineral sources as a non-biological origin, while organic acids have a biological origin and can also be synthesized in the laboratory.
  • Mineral acids are corrosive, while organic acids are not.
  • Mineral acids are very soluble in water; on the other hand, organic acids are weakly soluble in water since they are a derivation of organic compounds.
  • Mineral acids are strong acids, they undergo complete dissociation; on the other hand, organic acids are weak acids, they undergo partial dissociation.

Difference between mineral acids and organic acids in Tabular Form

mineral acidsorganic acids
DefinitionsMineral acids are inorganic acids as highly soluble compounds in water.Organic acids are acids with carbon and hydrogen in their formula less soluble in water.
Solubility in organic solventsInsolubleVery soluble
Chemical compositionMay/may not have carbonMust have carbon and hydrogen
OriginMineral source as non-biological originMainly biological origin
SolubilityHighly soluble in waterLess soluble in water
Acid strengthStrong acids and some are also weakWeak acids

Mineral acids vs. organic acids – Overview

Mineral acids are inorganic acids whose sources include minerals as a non-biological source, while organic acids are of biological origin and can also be synthesized in laboratories. Mineral acids can have carbon in their molecular structure, while organic acids must have carbon and hydrogen in their formula, especially as carboxylic acids, since they also form the hydrogen ions and the conjugate base (species remaining when the acid donates a proton) in solution. in water.

Mineral acids are considered strong acids since they undergo complete dissociation in solution, while organic acids are considered weak acids since they partially dissociate in solution with the establishment of equilibrium. Mineral acids are reactive as they include some of the strong acid species. On the other hand, organic acids are less reactive as they include weak acids like carboxylic acids, etc.

Mineral acids as strong acids are HCl, H 2 SO 4, HNO 3, etc. Organic acids are weak acids since the most common are carboxylic acids such as C 6 H 8 O 7 (citric acid), C 3 H 6 O 3 (lactic acid), C 2 H 2 O 4 (oxalic acid), CH 3COOH (acetic acid). Mineral acids are considered to be very soluble in water, but organic acids dissolve poorly in water. Mineral acids are insoluble in organic solvents, while organic acids are very soluble in organic solvents.

What are mineral acids?

Mineral acids are inorganic acid type and acid class. They may or may not be composed of carbon atoms. They are usually considered strong acids since they have a class of acids such as hydrochloric acid (HCl), sulfuric acid (H 2 SO 4 ), nitric acid (HNO 3 ), etc. They are very reactive and strong acids with low pH values ​​as they turn red litmus blue Mineral acids are considered highly corrosive properties as the inside of broilers has some deposits that are removed with the help of HCl in the process descaling.

Mineral acids have the property of being highly soluble in water and insoluble in organic solvents since they are inorganic acids. They are derived from one or more inorganic substances. Mineral acids for dilution need precautionary measures when adding the acid to the water because adding water to the acid can cause a large amount of heat to be released as an exothermic reaction leads to boiling and acid splashing.

With bases, combustible materials, oxidizing agents and organic materials, mineral acids are chemically incompatible; therefore, they must be stored safely. Chelating metal ions can accelerate rust removal.

Examples of mineral acids

  • Sulfuric acid (H 2 SO 4 ): It is a strong oxidant (an agent that removes electrons from other reagents), hygroscopic (absorbs moisture), and a dehydrating agent. Releases hydrogen gas when it reacts with metal.
  • Nitric acid (HNO 3 ): It is a strong oxidant, while it reduces itself to nitrous fumes. Develops the brown vapors of toxic nitrogen oxide by reacting with HCl. Nitric acid causes yellow spots on the skin. Aqua regia is a steaming liquid in the form of a mixture of nitric acid and sulfuric acid.

What are organic acids?

Organic acids are the compounds of organic compounds that contain carbon and hydrogen, mainly in their structure. They are usually of biological origin and can also be synthesized in the laboratory. Organic acids are weakly soluble in water, but the difference is that their low molecular weight acids (such as formic acid) are miscible (as they dissolve completely), while high molecular weight acids (benzoic acid) are insoluble in water. They are soluble in organic solvents because “like dissolves as” (as polar dissolves in polar solvents and nonpolar dissolves in nonpolar solvents).

They are generally considered weak acids (they do not fully dissociate in solution) with high pH values. Conventional organic acids include carboxylic acids with the -COOH group in their compounds, which includes lactic acid, oxalic acid, acetic acid. Weak acid force and lower reactivity are the causes that organic acids use at high temperatures or when prolonged contact is needed. Some of the complex organic acids are produced in biological systems such as D-glucuronic and L-lactic acids found in human blood and urine.

They have their effects on bacteria in such a way that they can penetrate the bacterial cell wall to be able to use it in food preservation.

Examples of organic acids

  • Formic acid (CH 2 O 2 ): It is found in ants and is industrially prepared from methanol. It is used to enhance lactic acid fermentation in silage (fermented forages stored at high humidity), in the leather industry, and as coagulants and rubber production.
  • Oxalic acid (C 2 H 2 O 4 ) : It is the simplest dicarboxylic acid and reducing agent. They are prepared by oxidation of carbohydrates with HNO 3 in the presence of V 2 O 5 .
  • Lactic acid (C 3 H 6 O 3 ) : As hygroscopic that consists of two enantiomers. In lactic acid fermentation, which is anaerobic fermentation, lactic acid bacteria are used.
  • Acetic acid (CH 3 COOH): It is hydrophilic, polar solvent and the simplest carboxylic acid after formic acid. They are naturally produced by acetic acid bacteria.

conclusion

Mineral acids are inorganic acids, as they can have a carbon with a high acid strength, while organic acids are organic compounds, as they must have a carbon with a weak acid strength.

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