Sodium Acetate - CH3COONa

What is Sodium Acetate (CH3COONa)?

CH3COONa is a chemical compound with the chemical name Sodium Acetate.

It is a sodium salt of acetic acid. It is also called sodium acetate. Sodium acetate along with an alkyl halide like bromoethane can be used to form an ester.

It is either in its white granular powder form or appears as monoclinic crystals. It is hygroscopic in nature and easily soluble in water. It is usually odourless but when heated to decomposition, it smells like vinegar or acetic acid. Medically sodium acetate is given intravenously as an electrolyte replenishement. It corrects the sodium levels in hyponatremic patients.

Table of Content

Sodium Acetate Structure (CH3COONa Structure)

Sodium Acetate Structure

Sodium Acetate Structure

Properties of Sodium Acetate – CH3COONa

CH3COONa Sodium Acetate
Molecular Weight/ Molar Mass 82.03 g/mol
Density 1.528 g/cm3
Boiling Point 881.4 °C
Melting Point 324 °C

Preparations of Sodium Acetate – CH3COONa

  • Sodium acetate is formed by the reaction of Vinegar (5-8% Acetic acid) with sodium carbonate (NaHCO3). In this reaction carbonic acid is formed which is further decomposed by heating produces carbon dioxide and water. 

                              CH3COOH  +  NaHCO3 → CH3COONa  +  H2CO3

                                        H2CO3  →  CO2  +  H2O

  • Sodium acetate is industrially formed by the reaction of acetic acid with sodium hydroxide in an aqueous solution.

                                CH3COOH + NaOH → CH3COONa + H2O

Chemical reactions of Sodium Acetate – CH3COONa

      • Sodium acetate is heated strongly with soda lime which is the mixture of sodium hydroxide(NaOH) and Calcium oxide (CaO) in the ratio of 3:1 by mass, methane is formed as the product .

\(\begin{array}{l} CH_{3}COONa + NaOH \overset{(CaO)/630K}{\rightarrow} CH_{4} + Na_{2}CO_{3}\end{array} \)

  • Sodium acetate along with an alkyl halide like bromoethane can be used to form an ester.                 

                            CH3COONa  +  BrCH2CH3  → CH3COOCH2CH3  +  NaBr

Sodium Acetate (CH3COONa) Uses

  • It is used for dialysis as a source of sodium ions in solutions.
  • It is used in the textile industry while using an aniline dye.
  • It is used as a pickling agent in chrome tanning.
  • It acts as a concrete sealant.
  • It can be used in food as a seasoning.
  • It can be used as a buffer along with acetic acid to keep a relatively constant pH.
  • It is used in heating pads, hot ice, and hand warmers.
  • It is used to get rid of the build up of static electricity.

Important Questions on Sodium Acetate

What are the uses of sodium acetate?

In the field of biotechnology, sodium acetate is widely used as a source of carbon for the culturing of many important bacteria. The yield of the ethanol precipitation process for the isolation of DNA can be increased with the use of sodium acetate. This compound is also vital to the textile industry, where it is used as a neutralising agent in order to neutralise streams of sulphuric acid which is produced as a waste. This compound is also used as a pickling agent during chrome tanning activities. Sodium acetate also acts as a concrete sealant and is, therefore, used to reduce the water damage suffered by concrete in the construction industry.

Is sodium acetate soluble in water?

Yes, sodium acetate is highly soluble in water. The solubility of this compound in water increases when the temperature is increased. For example, at a temperature of 0 degrees Celsius, anhydrous sodium acetate has a solubility in water of 1190 grams per litre. However, when the temperature is increased to 100 degrees Celsius, the solubility of this compound in water increases to 1629 grams per litre (in its anhydrous form). The trihydrate of this compound is not as soluble in water and its solubility corresponds to 464 grams per litre at a temperature of 20 degrees Celsius.

How is sodium acetate produced?

Sodium acetate can be produced from the reaction between acetic acid (usually used in the form of vinegar) and sodium carbonate (usually used in the form of washing soda). Sodium bicarbonate (also known as baking soda) or sodium hydroxide (also known as caustic soda) can be used as an alternative to sodium carbonate in this reaction. Industrially, this compound is prepared by reacting acetic acid with sodium hydroxide in the presence of water (which functions as a solvent).

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs


What is sodium acetate used for?

In the textile industry, sodium acetate is used to neutralise waste sources of sulphuric acid and also as a photoresist using aniline dyes. It is also a pickling agent for chromium tanning and helps in the manufacture of synthetic rubber to avoid chloroprene vulcanisation.


Is sodium acetate a strong base?

Sodium acetate (CH3COONa) is a solid-state salt that can not be used in anhydrous or liquid form as an acid or base. Now, with NaOH being a strong base and CH3COOH being a weak acid, the resulting solution is fundamental in nature. Sodium acetate is therefore essential in an aqueous medium.


What is sodium acetate buffer?

Sodium acetate buffer solution in which an acetic acid maintains the pH — sodium acetate balance.


Why does sodium acetate release heat?

Once heated above 58oC, solid sodium acetate trihydrate loses its hydration capacity and starts to dissolve in that steam. Sodium acetate trihydrate solution heat is 19.7 kJ / mole (an endothermc process).


What is the common name for sodium acetate?

Sodium acetate is sodium salt of acetic acid. It has the C2H3O2Na chemical formula and is also known as
sodium ethanoate.

Discover more about the physical and chemical properties, uses and structure of Sodium acetate (CH3COONa) from the experts at BYJU’S.

Other related links:

Preparation Of Alkyl Halides Acetic Acid
Take up a quiz on sodium acetate


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