Citric Acid - C6H8O7

What is Citric Acid?

Citric Acid is a weak acid with a chemical formula C6H8O7. It can occur in two forms – monohydrate or water-free (anhydrous). This acid is usually found in citrus fruits like lemons, oranges etc. It is considered as a tribasic acid. It is odorless, sour in taste, and appears as a white crystalline solid. It has a monoclinic crystal structure. This organic acid was isolated for the first time by chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele in the year 1784. Since it similar in resemblance to table salt it is sold in the market as sour salt.

Properties of Citric Acid – C6H8O7


Citric Acid

Molecular Weight/ Molar Mass

192.124 g/mol


1.66 g/cm³

Boiling Point

310 °C

Melting Point

153 °C

Citric Acid structure – C6H8O7

Citric Acid structure

C6H8O7Uses (Citric Acid)

  • It is used as an antioxidant
  • It is used as a cleaning agent – as an ingredient in kitchen and bathroom cleaning solution
  • It is used as an emulsifying agent in ice creams
  • It is used to add a sour taste to soft drinks and other food items
  • It used in shampoo
  • It is used in sucrose crystallization in caramel
  • It is used in food coloring
  • It is used as a natural preservative
  • It is used to remove the chalky deposit from evaporators, kettles, boilers etc.

Learn more about the structure and properties of C6H8O7 from the expert faculties at BYJU’S.

Practise This Question

Henry’s law constant is constant irrespective of gas. (T/F)