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What Is The Difference Between Glacial Acetic Acid And Acetic Acid?

Jun. 28, 2020

Ethanoic Acid is commonly known as Acetic Acid. Anhydrous acetic acid can be transformed into a corrosive ice-like crystal at a temperature slightly lower than room temperature (16.7°C). Therefore, anhydrous acetic acid is often called glacial acetic acid.


The experimental formula of Glacial Acetic Acid is CH2O and the chemical formula is C2H4O2. It is often written as CH3-COOH, CH3COOH, or CH3CO2H to highlight the carboxyl group, indicating a more accurate structure. The ions formed after losing H are acetate anions. The formal abbreviation commonly used for acetic acid is AcOH or HOAc, where Ac represents the acetyl group (CH3CO) in acetic acid. In the acid-base neutralization reaction, HAc can also be used to denote acetic acid, where Ac represents acetate anion (CH3COO), but many people think that this is easy to cause misunderstanding. In both cases, Ac should not be confused with the abbreviation of actinium in the chemical element.

Glacial Acetic Acid

Glacial Acetic Acid

Industrial glacial acetic acid. A saturated carboxylic acid containing two carbon atoms in the acetic acid molecule. Molecular formula CH3COOH. Because it is the main component of vinegar, also known as acetic acid. For example, it exists mainly in the form of its compound ester in fruit or vegetable oil; in the form of free acid in animal tissues, excreta and blood. Colorless liquid, with a pungent odor. Melting point 16.6℃, boiling point 117.9℃, relative density 1.0492 (20/4℃), refractive index 1.3716. Pure acetic acid can form ice-like solid below 16.6℃, so it is often called glacial acetic acid. Easily soluble in water, ethanol, ether and carbon tetrachloride. When water is added to acetic acid, the total volume after mixing becomes smaller and the density increases until the molecular ratio is 1:1, which is equivalent to CH3C(OH)3, which forms monobasic acid. After further dilution, the volume no longer changes.


Pure anhydrous acetic acid (glacial acetic acid) is a colorless, hygroscopic liquid with a freezing point of 16.6 degrees (62 °F) and colorless crystals after solidification. Although acetic acid is a weak acid according to its dissociation ability in aqueous solution, acetic acid is corrosive, and its vapor has an irritating effect on the eyes and nose. Acetic acid is a simple carboxylic acid and an important chemical reagent. Acetic acid is also used to make cellulose acetate required for film films and polyvinyl acetate in wood adhesives, as well as many synthetic fibers and fabrics.