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Question

Discuss briefly the physical and chemical properties of ethanoic acid. [5 MARKS]
 


Solution

Physical properties: 2 Mark
Chemical properties: 3 Mark

1. Physical properties of ethanoic acid-
The melting point of pure ethanoic acid is 290 K and hence it often freezes during winter in cold climates.
This gave rise to its name glacial acetic acid. It is soluble in water due to hydrogen bonding.

2. Chemical properties of ethanoic acid-
Esterification reaction:
Esters are most commonly formed by reaction of an acid and an alcohol. Ethanoic acid reacts with absolute ethanol in the presence of an acid catalyst to give an ester. Esters are sweet-smelling substances. These are used in making perfumes and as flavouring agents.

CH3COOH+C2H5OHconc. H2SO4−−−−−−CH3COOC2H5+H2O

Ethanoic acid reacts with a base such as sodium hydroxide to give a salt (sodium ethanoate or sodium acetate) and water:

NaOH+CH3COOHCH3COONa+H2O

Ethanoic acid reacts with carbonates and hydrogencarbonates to give rise to a salt, carbon dioxide and water. The salt produced is commonly called sodium acetate.

2CH3COOH+Na2CO32CH3COONa+H2O+CO2

NaHCO3+CH3COOHCH3COONa+H2O+CO2

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