Acetic Acid - C2H4O2

What is Acetic Acid?

Acetic Acid is a monocarboxylic acid with a chemical formula C2H4O2. It is also known as Methanecarboxylic acid or Ethanoic acid. This organic compound consists of a carboxyl group attached to a methyl group and is a colorless liquid with a pungent smell. The carboxylic acid group is the functional group of acetic acid. It partially dissociates in water, therefore, it is said to be a weak acid. Acetic acid was synthesized for the first time by German chemist Hermann Kolbe in the year 1845. Another name for water-free acetic acid is glacial acetic acid. The PH of 1 mM of acetic acid is about 3.91.

Properties of Acetic Acid – C2H4O2


Acetic Acid

Molecular Weight/ Molar Mass

60.05 g/mol


1.05 g/cm³

Boiling Point

118 to 119 °C

Melting Point

16 to 17 °C

Acetic Acid structure – C2H4O2

Acetic Acid structure

C2H4O2 Uses (Acetic Acid)

  • It is used as an antiseptic
  • It is used in the manufacture of rayon fiber
  • Injecting acetic acid in tumor helps in the treatment of cancer
  • It is used in the pickling of vegetables
  • Vinyl acetate monomer is produced with the help of acetic acid
  • It is used in the manufacture of rubber
  • It is the main component of vinegar
  • It is used in the manufacture of perfumes
  • It is used as a preservative

Learn more about the structure and properties of C2H4O2 from the expert faculties at BYJU’S.

Practise This Question

The relative lowering of the vapour pressure is equal to the ratio between the number of: