Malonic acid - C3H4O4

What is Malonic acid?

Malonic acid is a dicarboxylic acid with a chemical formula C3H4O4. It is also known as Propanedioic Acid or Dicarboxymethane. The name is derived from a Greek word Malon which means apple. Malonates are the ionized form of malonic acid, along with its esters and salts. It appears as a white crystal or crystalline powder. It dissolves in alcohol, pyridine, and ether. Malonic acid was first prepared in the year, 1858 by the French chemist Victor Dessaignes by the oxidation of malic acid. Malonic acid is found in some fruits viz citrus fruits. The amount of malonic acid produced from fruits through organic farming is greater than the fruits grown through conventional agriculture. Malonic acid can be produced through the fermentation of glucose.

Properties of Malonic acid – C3H4O4

C3H4O4 Malonic acid
Molecular Weight/ Molar Mass 104.061 g/mol
Density 1.619 g/cm³
Boiling Point Decomposes
Melting Point 135 to 137°C

Malonic acid structure – C3H4O4

Structure of Malonic acid

(C3H4O4) Malonic acid Synthesis:

Preparation of malonic acid starts with chloroacetic acid which is also known as MCA (monochloroacetic acid).

Step 1: Sodium carbonate produces sodium salt.

Step 2: It is made to react with sodium cyanide.

Step 3: cyanoacetic acid salt is generated through a nucleophilic substitution.

Step 4: The nitrile group is hydrolyzed with sodium hydroxide to produce sodium malonate.

Step 4: The acidification results in malonic acid.

Industrially, malonic acid is produced by the hydrolysis of diethyl malonate or dimethyl malonate.

Uses of Malonic acid (C3H4O4)

  • Malonic acid is used as a precursor in polymers and polyester.
  • It is used in flavors as well as the fragrance industry.
  • It is used to control the acidity.
  • It is used in pharmaceutical products.
  • It is used as a cross-linking agent between potato starch and cornstarch to enhance its mechanical properties.
  • It is used in the preparation of barbituric salt.
  • It is used in electroplating.
  • It is used to produce vitamin B1, vitamin B6, vitamin B2, and amino acids.
  • It is used in chemical synthesis as a building block.

Malonic acid health risks:

It is a strong irritant and is harmful when harmful by inhaled, ingested or absorbed by the skin leading to skin damage and damage of mucous membranes.

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