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Isophthalic Acid vs. Terephthalic Acid: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Published on January 11, 2024
Isophthalic acid is a benzene dicarboxylic acid with carboxyl groups at the 1,3-positions, while terephthalic acid has carboxyl groups at the 1,4-positions on the benzene ring.

Key Differences

Isophthalic acid has a chemical structure where the two carboxyl groups are positioned at the meta positions (1,3) of the benzene ring. Terephthalic acid’s carboxyl groups are at the para positions (1,4) on the benzene ring.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 11, 2024
Isophthalic acid is known for its higher solubility in common organic solvents compared to terephthalic acid. Terephthalic acid, conversely, is less soluble in these solvents but is soluble in hot water.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 11, 2024
Isophthalic acid is used in the production of high-performance polymers and resins, offering good resistance to water and chemicals. Terephthalic acid is primarily used in the manufacture of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) for making plastics and fibers.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 11, 2024
Polymers made with isophthalic acid tend to have more flexible and impact-resistant properties. Terephthalic acid contributes to the production of polymers with high strength and rigidity.
Huma Saeed
Jan 11, 2024
Isophthalic acid is produced via the oxidation of meta-xylene. Terephthalic acid is produced mainly from the oxidation of p-xylene. The production processes influence their respective costs and availability.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 11, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Chemical Structure

Carboxyl groups at 1,3-positions on benzene ring
Carboxyl groups at 1,4-positions on benzene ring
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 11, 2024

Physical Properties

Higher solubility in organic solvents
Lower solubility in organic solvents, soluble in hot water
Huma Saeed
Jan 11, 2024

Industrial Application

High-performance polymers and resins
Manufacture of PET for plastics and fibers
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 11, 2024

Polymer Characteristics

Flexible, impact-resistant properties
High strength, rigidity
Aimie Carlson
Jan 11, 2024

Production Method

Oxidation of meta-xylene
Oxidation of p-xylene
Aimie Carlson
Jan 11, 2024
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Isophthalic Acid and Terephthalic Acid Definitions

Isophthalic Acid

Enhances the flexibility of polymers.
Isophthalic acid is added to plastics to improve their impact resistance.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 26, 2023

Terephthalic Acid

Produced mainly from the oxidation of p-xylene.
Terephthalic acid production largely relies on p-xylene as a starting material.
Harlon Moss
Dec 26, 2023

Isophthalic Acid

A benzene dicarboxylic acid with carboxyl groups at the meta positions.
Isophthalic acid is used in coatings due to its excellent water resistance.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 26, 2023

Terephthalic Acid

A benzene dicarboxylic acid with carboxyl groups at the para positions.
Terephthalic acid is a primary ingredient in making PET bottles.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 26, 2023

Isophthalic Acid

Used in high-performance polymer production.
Isophthalic acid is a key component in corrosion-resistant fiberglass.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 26, 2023

Terephthalic Acid

Crucial for manufacturing strong and rigid polymers.
Terephthalic acid is used to produce durable polyester fibers.
Huma Saeed
Dec 26, 2023

Isophthalic Acid

Derived from the oxidation of meta-xylene.
The industrial production of isophthalic acid involves meta-xylene as a precursor.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 26, 2023

Terephthalic Acid

Less soluble in organic solvents but soluble in hot water.
Terephthalic acid’s solubility properties affect its processing techniques.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 26, 2023

Isophthalic Acid

Offers good solubility in organic solvents.
Isophthalic acid’s solubility makes it versatile in various chemical applications.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 26, 2023

Terephthalic Acid

Widely used in plastic and fiber industries.
Terephthalic acid is integral to the production of consumer goods like clothing and packaging.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 26, 2023

FAQs

What’s the main use of terephthalic acid?

In manufacturing PET for plastics and fibers.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 11, 2024

How is isophthalic acid produced?

Via the oxidation of meta-xylene.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 11, 2024

Is isophthalic acid soluble in organic solvents?

Yes, it has good solubility in these solvents.
Janet White
Jan 11, 2024

What is isophthalic acid?

A meta-positioned benzene dicarboxylic acid used in polymers and resins.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 11, 2024

Can terephthalic acid dissolve in water?

It is soluble in hot water.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 11, 2024

Is terephthalic acid eco-friendly?

It's used in recyclable PET products.
Janet White
Jan 11, 2024

Why is terephthalic acid important in textiles?

It's used to make durable polyester fibers.
Harlon Moss
Jan 11, 2024

How does isophthalic acid impact polymer processing?

It improves processing characteristics like flexibility and chemical resistance.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 11, 2024

What is terephthalic acid?

A para-positioned benzene dicarboxylic acid, essential in PET production.
Huma Saeed
Jan 11, 2024

Are isophthalic acid polymers flexible?

Yes, they are known for their flexibility and impact resistance.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 11, 2024

How does terephthalic acid contribute to sustainability?

Through its use in recyclable plastics.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 11, 2024

What’s a common application of isophthalic acid?

In high-performance coatings and fiberglass.
Janet White
Jan 11, 2024

Does isophthalic acid resist chemicals?

Yes, it offers good chemical resistance.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 11, 2024

What role does terephthalic acid play in packaging?

It's crucial in creating strong, lightweight plastic packaging.
Harlon Moss
Jan 11, 2024

What properties do terephthalic acid polymers have?

High strength and rigidity.
Janet White
Jan 11, 2024

Are both acids derived from xylene?

Yes, but from different isomers: meta-xylene for isophthalic and p-xylene for terephthalic.
Harlon Moss
Jan 11, 2024

Can isophthalic acid be used in automotive parts?

Yes, particularly in corrosion-resistant parts.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 11, 2024

Is terephthalic acid used in beverage containers?

Yes, in PET bottles for beverages.
Harlon Moss
Jan 11, 2024

What are the safety considerations for isophthalic acid?

Proper handling and storage due to its chemical nature.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 11, 2024

Are there any biodegradable alternatives to these acids?

Research is ongoing for more sustainable, biodegradable alternatives.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 11, 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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