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Introducing SciChem Recipe of the Week – Week 1: Ethanoic Acid/Acetic Acid

Coming every week, SciChem will be bringing you a ‘recipe of the week’. These handy PDFs will be downloadable so you can save them and refer back to them at any point, helping you build up an extensive library of useful chemical recipes that will aid in conducting classrooms experiments.

For the first week, our recipe is for Ethanoic Acid, also known as Acetic Acid.

What is ethanoic acid?

This chemical is used as an ingredient in vinegar (a 4-8% solution with water) and due to being inhospitable to bacteria, is used as a preserving agent. It goes by several names including ethylic acid, hydrogen acetate, acetic acid, and methanecarboxylic acid.

Its formula can be written as both CH3COOH and C2H4O2 – interchangeable depending on the context in which its chemical behaviours are being considered.

As well as being used as a food preservative and as a component in vinegar, as a weak acid it’s also used in photography and printing, as an antibiotic, and within sealants.

Download or bookmark your copy of the ethanoic acid recipe of the week.

Scan the QR codes for classroom experiments to follow with your safe and prepared ethanoic acid.