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Acetic Acid vs. Ethanoic Acid: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Published on January 10, 2024
Acetic acid and ethanoic acid are the same chemical compound (CH₃COOH), with "acetic acid" being the common name and "ethanoic acid" the IUPAC name.

Key Differences

Acetic acid, commonly known as vinegar's sour component, is a key organic acid. Ethanoic acid, its IUPAC name, emphasizes its chemical structure as part of the carboxylic acid family.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2024
In commercial settings, acetic acid is widely used in the production of vinegar and other chemicals. Ethanoic acid, under its systematic name, is recognized in scientific literature and research.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2024
Acetic acid's properties, like its pungent smell and corrosive nature, are well-known in household contexts. Ethanoic acid, when referred to in academic contexts, is often associated with its reactions and compound formation abilities.
Huma Saeed
Jan 10, 2024
The use of acetic acid in food preservation and culinary applications is centuries old. Ethanoic acid, in a more formal context, is discussed for its role in biochemistry and industrial processes.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2024
Acetic acid's versatility ranges from household cleaning to industrial synthesis. Ethanoic acid, in its more formal guise, is studied for its environmental impact and safety measures.
Janet White
Jan 10, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Common Name

Acetic Acid
Ethanoic Acid
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2024

IUPAC Name

Ethanoic Acid
Acetic Acid
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2024

Usage Context

Common, household
Scientific, formal
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2024

Known For

Vinegar, cleaning
Chemical reactions, studies
Harlon Moss
Jan 10, 2024

Industry Application

Food, cleaning products
Chemical, pharmaceutical
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2024
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Acetic Acid and Ethanoic Acid Definitions

Acetic Acid

A component of vinegar, used in cooking and cleaning.
She used acetic acid to remove stains from her kitchen counter.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 12, 2023

Ethanoic Acid

A chemical used in the synthesis of various compounds.
The synthesis of the ester involved ethanoic acid as a reactant.
Janet White
Dec 12, 2023

Acetic Acid

A solvent in the production of chemical compounds.
Acetic acid was used as a solvent in the laboratory experiment.
Janet White
Dec 12, 2023

Ethanoic Acid

A substance studied for its environmental impact.
The research focused on the biodegradability of ethanoic acid.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 12, 2023

Acetic Acid

An organic compound with the formula CH₃COOH.
Acetic acid's chemical structure makes it important in organic synthesis.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 12, 2023

Ethanoic Acid

A carboxylic acid with the formula CH₃COOH.
Ethanoic acid's properties were studied in the organic chemistry class.
Huma Saeed
Dec 12, 2023

Acetic Acid

A clear, corrosive liquid with a strong vinegar smell.
The acetic acid in the lab needs careful handling due to its corrosivity.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 12, 2023

Ethanoic Acid

The IUPAC name for acetic acid, a common organic acid.
Ethanoic acid is often referred to in chemical textbooks and research papers.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 12, 2023

Acetic Acid

A weak acid used in food preservation.
Acetic acid is used to preserve pickles due to its antibacterial properties.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 12, 2023

Ethanoic Acid

A component in vinegar, used for its antimicrobial properties.
Ethanoic acid, as part of vinegar, is effective in food preservation.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 12, 2023

FAQs

Is ethanoic acid natural or synthetic?

Ethanoic acid can be both naturally occurring and synthetically produced.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2024

What is the formula for acetic acid?

The formula for acetic acid is CH₃COOH.
Huma Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

Can ethanoic acid be used in cleaning?

Yes, it's effective in cleaning due to its acidity.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 10, 2024

Is acetic acid volatile?

Yes, it is a volatile organic compound.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 10, 2024

Can acetic acid be used in organic synthesis?

Yes, it's a fundamental reagent in organic synthesis.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2024

Are acetic acid and ethanoic acid the same?

Yes, they are the same compound with different names.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2024

How is acetic acid used in food?

Acetic acid is used as a preservative and flavoring agent, especially in vinegar.
Harlon Moss
Jan 10, 2024

What is the main use of ethanoic acid in industry?

It's used in chemical synthesis and as a solvent in various industrial processes.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 10, 2024

Can acetic acid be used as a herbicide?

Yes, it can be used as a natural herbicide.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2024

Does ethanoic acid have a strong smell?

Yes, it has a pungent, vinegar-like smell.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 10, 2024

Is acetic acid a preservative?

Yes, it's widely used as a food preservative.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2024

How is ethanoic acid produced commercially?

It's commonly produced by the fermentation of ethanol or methanol.
Janet White
Jan 10, 2024

Is acetic acid harmful?

In concentrated form, it can be corrosive and harmful, but it is safe in dilute forms like vinegar.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2024

Is acetic acid safe for skin?

In diluted form, like in cosmetics, it can be safe, but concentrated acetic acid is corrosive.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 10, 2024

Can ethanoic acid be used in medicine?

Yes, it has applications in some medical treatments and pharmaceuticals.
Harlon Moss
Jan 10, 2024

How does ethanoic acid affect the environment?

It's generally considered low risk for environmental impact due to its biodegradability.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2024

Can acetic acid be used in plastic production?

Yes, it's used in the production of some plastics and synthetic fibers.
Janet White
Jan 10, 2024

Is ethanoic acid biodegradable?

Yes, it is readily biodegradable.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2024

What is the pH of acetic acid?

It's a weak acid with a pH typically around 2.4 in its undiluted form.
Janet White
Jan 10, 2024

Is ethanoic acid found in the human body?

Yes, it's a metabolic product in the body.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 10, 2024
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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