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Maleic Acid vs. Fumaric Acid: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Published on December 25, 2023
Maleic acid is a cis isomer with stronger reactivity and lower melting point, while fumaric acid is a trans isomer, more stable and has a higher melting point.

Key Differences

Maleic acid has a cis configuration, where both carboxylic acid groups are on the same side of the double bond, leading to a less stable structure. Fumaric acid, with its trans configuration, places these groups on opposite sides, contributing to greater stability.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 25, 2023
The cis arrangement in maleic acid results in higher reactivity due to the closer proximity of its carboxylic groups. In contrast, fumaric acid's trans configuration leads to less reactive properties, as its carboxylic groups are further apart.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 25, 2023
Maleic acid generally has a lower melting point and is more soluble in water due to its molecular arrangement. Fumaric acid, on the other hand, has a higher melting point and is less soluble, attributed to its trans structure.
Huma Saeed
Dec 25, 2023
In its solid form, maleic acid tends to be less stable and can easily be converted into fumaric acid. Fumaric acid remains more stable in its solid form and does not readily convert to its cis counterpart.
Harlon Moss
Dec 25, 2023
Maleic acid is often used in polymerization and as an additive in foods, leveraging its higher reactivity. Fumaric acid finds its use in food preservation and as an acidulant, owing to its stability and less reactive nature.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 25, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Configuration

Cis isomer
Trans isomer
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 25, 2023

Stability

Less stable
More stable
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 25, 2023

Reactivity

Higher due to proximity of groups
Lower
Huma Saeed
Dec 25, 2023

Melting Point

Lower
Higher
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 25, 2023

Usage

Polymerization, food additive
Food preservation, acidulant
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 25, 2023
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Maleic Acid and Fumaric Acid Definitions

Maleic Acid

An organic compound derived from butenedioic acid.
Maleic acid is converted into fumaric acid when heated.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 01, 2023

Fumaric Acid

A dicarboxylic acid with trans configuration.
Fumaric acid is added to foods to extend shelf life.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 01, 2023

Maleic Acid

An acid used in polymer production.
Maleic acid reacts with other chemicals to form durable plastics.
Harlon Moss
Dec 01, 2023

Fumaric Acid

An acidulant in the food industry.
Fumaric acid is often used to add tartness to beverages.
Janet White
Dec 01, 2023

Maleic Acid

A compound used as an additive in food.
Maleic acid can enhance the flavor of certain snacks.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 01, 2023

Fumaric Acid

An organic compound used in food preservation.
Fumaric acid is common in dry food mixes for its preservative qualities.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 01, 2023

Maleic Acid

A less stable isomer of butenedioic acid.
Maleic acid's reactivity makes it useful in industrial applications.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 01, 2023

Fumaric Acid

A compound with a higher melting point than its cis counterpart.
Fumaric acid's high melting point influences its physical properties.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 01, 2023

Maleic Acid

A dicarboxylic acid with cis configuration.
Maleic acid is used in making polyester resins.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 01, 2023

Fumaric Acid

A more stable isomer of butenedioic acid.
Fumaric acid remains stable under various storage conditions.
Huma Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

FAQs

What is fumaric acid?

A trans isomer of butenedioic acid, commonly used as a food preservative.
Huma Saeed
Dec 25, 2023

What makes fumaric acid more stable?

Its trans configuration leads to greater stability.
Harlon Moss
Dec 25, 2023

In what applications is maleic acid used?

In polymerization, as a food additive, and in pharmaceuticals.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 25, 2023

How does maleic acid's structure affect its properties?

Its cis configuration makes it less stable and more reactive.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 25, 2023

What is the melting point of fumaric acid?

Higher than maleic acid, contributing to its physical stability.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 25, 2023

How soluble is fumaric acid in water?

It is less soluble due to its molecular structure.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 25, 2023

What is maleic acid?

It's a cis isomer of butenedioic acid, used in various industrial applications.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 25, 2023

What are the uses of fumaric acid?

Mainly in food preservation and as an acidulant in beverages.
Harlon Moss
Dec 25, 2023

Is fumaric acid convertible to maleic acid?

No, fumaric acid does not easily convert to maleic acid.
Harlon Moss
Dec 25, 2023

Why is fumaric acid used in food preservation?

Its stability and acidic nature help prolong shelf life.
Janet White
Dec 25, 2023

What is the impact of maleic acid in the food industry?

It's used as an additive to enhance flavors and textures.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 25, 2023

What is the industrial production method for fumaric acid?

Mostly through catalytic isomerization of maleic acid.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 25, 2023

Can maleic acid be converted into fumaric acid?

Yes, through heating or ultraviolet irradiation.
Harlon Moss
Dec 25, 2023

What is the melting point of maleic acid?

It has a lower melting point compared to fumaric acid.
Harlon Moss
Dec 25, 2023

Are there any health concerns with maleic acid?

In large quantities, it can be harmful, but is generally safe in regulated amounts.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 25, 2023

Is fumaric acid safe for consumption?

Yes, when used in approved quantities, it's safe.
Janet White
Dec 25, 2023

Can maleic acid be used in plastic manufacturing?

Yes, particularly in making unsaturated polyester resins.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 25, 2023

Is fumaric acid involved in plastic production?

It's less common, but can be used in certain resin formulations.
Janet White
Dec 25, 2023

How is maleic acid produced industrially?

Typically from benzene or butane through various chemical processes.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 25, 2023

Is maleic acid soluble in water?

Yes, it's more soluble than fumaric acid.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 25, 2023
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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