Talk:Acetic acid

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Article milestones
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November 3, 2005 Peer review Reviewed
November 13, 2005 Featured article candidate Promoted
August 23, 2013 Featured article review Kept
Current status: Featured article

-ise or -ize?[edit]

This article uses -ize spellings (ie. recognized, civilization) for the first few paragraphs, and then goes in a transition to using -ise endings (ie. synthesised, oxidised). Note that the use of -yse endings such as those in catalyse is the only spelling acceptable in any form of British English; whether it is (Standard) British English (using -ise), or Oxford English (using -ize). Although both -ise and -ize are acceptable for use in an article using British English, you can't start with one spelling system in the introduction and then change for the rest of it, as this article currently does (it is especially unacceptable in a Featured Article!).

It could be argued that using -ise endings is preferable as the first revisions of this article use British spellings such as colourless, so using Standard British English would be more legitimate. This is what the admin previously did to standardise the page's spelling.

However, as the study of chemistry is international - best shown by using the spellings of aluminium but also sulfur - I would personally favour using Oxford English. This is the spelling which international organisations such as the UN use, and is viewed by many as a sort of compromise between Standard Br. English and Standard Am. English. It is also the version of English used by the UK's most authoritative publisher, Oxford University Press, the largest university press in the world, and publisher of the world's most authoritative dictionary.

The section above discussing whether British English or American English should be used is inconclusive with this and in some ways incorrect (current Br. English spelling practice favours -ise despite OED's stance, and there aren't any spelling mistakes in the edit made), so I thought it would be worth bringing up this issue to finalise it and choose which style of Br. English to use.

Swedish fusilier (talk) 07:17, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

  • The article was promoted to FA on 13 November 2005, over two years ago. It definitely needs some LTC and grooming. I'll give it a short brush, and make it consistent spelling again. IIRC, it is in non-OED Br-Eng, although my personal favourite is also Ox-Eng. Wim van Dorst (talk) 01:10, 19 January 2008 (UTC).
  • I did the general cleanup of the article, but I'm not sure about the appropriate spelling. I might just as well have been OED spelling after all. Wim van Dorst (talk) 01:26, 19 January 2008 (UTC).
  • . Yep, it is now consistenly in OED. Wim van Dorst (talk) 01:53, 19 January 2008 (UTC).

Still needs cleanup[edit]

Lots of weasel words, vague language in places, language too prosaic for an encyclopedia entry elsewhere. Many points are repeated a number of times; related points are not grouped together.

Poor quality for a featured article.

71.241.81.221 (talk) 07:41, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

  • The article has been Featured for over two years. FA required have significantly altered in that timeframe. Your improvement proposals will be highly appreciated. Feel free to augment the article as you deem appropriate, preferably from a personalized account for optimal communication. Wim van Dorst (talk) 22:15, 2 April 2008 (UTC).

Expansion on freezing?[edit]

I have definitely heard before that acetic acid expands on freezing. Why then is a higher density given for the solid phase than for the liquid? Are these accurate figures? http://avogadro.chem.iastate.edu/MSDS/acglac.htm Bbi5291 (talk) 00:28, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

WikiProject Food and drink Tagging[edit]

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Solid?[edit]

Can an acid be a solid at room temperature? As an example, salt and vinegar-flavored potato chips use distilled white vinegar that has been evaporated into a powder. But neither the acid article nor the acetic acid article mention that an acid can be a powder at room temperature. Can we get some clarification about this ab toh articles? Badagnani (talk) 02:55, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Can an acid be a solid at room temperature? Yes, it behaves somewhat like water with a melting point much closer to room temperature (16.5 °C). However, that is true only works for more or less pure, water-free acetic acid, not for vinegar. That potato-chip evaporated vinegar just means that all acetic acid and water has been removed from the vinegar, leaving behind aroma compounds and other goo that was dissolved in it. Cacycle (talk) 04:07, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

If the vinegar was already distilled, which compounds would those be? The flavor is extremely strong. Badagnani (talk) 04:47, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Of course this would not make sense with distilled vinegar. It is actually the leftover waste from producing distilled vinegar. Cacycle (talk) 16:12, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

The Sodium acetate page says "Sodium acetate is the chemical that gives salt and vinegar chips (crisps) their flavor." However, this ingredient is not listed in the ingredient list. Thus, does that mean that dehydrating distilled white vinegar produces this socium compound? Badagnani (talk) 04:48, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Maybe the food industry calls sodium acetate dehydrated vinegar. It certainly makes it sound less "chemical" and more edible. :) If they literally mean dehydrated, then dehydrated vinegar is basically acetic acid, which is liquid at room temperature. However, even though chips look "dry", they still can have some liquid absorbed. Especially if you consider how strong concentrated acetic acid smells, I guess you would only need a drop or two per bag of chips to give them flavor! --Itub (talk)

Sodium acetate, when evaporated with an excess of acetic acid, forms a fairly stable diacetate: NaH(CH3COO)2. When evaporated from aqueous solution, sodium acetate crystallizes with three moles of water (trihydrate), the "diacetate" crystallizes with two moles of water and one mole of acetic acid. Sodium diacetate is the flavoring agent used in "salt and vinegar" foods. Norm Reitzel (talk) 14:55, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

References[edit]

Naming convention[edit]

It's a very minor point as the two words are synonyms, but shouldn't this be under the title "ethanoic acid" with acetic acid given as an alternative? Whilst we all know what acetic acid is, ethanoic acid has been the correct term in all scientific works for a good many decades. Just as we now use ethanol and methanol rather than ethyl and methyl alcohol. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 80.6.43.126 (talk) 15:34, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

I would second this motion and seek to reassert its point (as a year has passed). The IUPAC naming conventions would give its name as ethanoic acid; as these are the international standards, surely this should be the title with acetic acid mentioned as an alternative and a reroute. Tory88 (talk) 15:04, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

The IUPAC naming convention that gives Acetic acid was 1993, this has surely been superceeded by the 2004 one that gives the systematic name ethanoic acid? The article should be moved to this name. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 194.176.105.135 (talk) 16:47, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

Why does the sidebar make a distinction between "systematic name" and "IUPAC name", but then both of them link to the same article, which mentions "systematic name" just once, defining it to be "IUPAC name"?
Totally confusing. Label "acetic acid" as "previous IUPAC name", "everyday name", "trivial name", "common name" or make them equal-value synonyms, but don't distinguish "systematic name" from "IUPAC name" while saying that they are the same. I had to come to the talk page to understand what was going on. 84.227.250.30 (talk) 21:36, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

Ka at Equilibrium Inclusion[edit]

If there are no objections we should include the Equilibrium Ka value on the table on the right side. ka = 1.8*10∧-5.Moadeeb 15:12, 4 March 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Moadeeb (talkcontribs)


Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Not moved, per consensus and common sense Materialscientist (talk) 02:04, 31 January 2011 (UTC)



Acetic acidEthanoic acid — The article should be at the correct IUPAC name. 75.15.161.185 (talk) 14:23, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

Survey[edit]

Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's policy on article titles.
  • Oppose. "Acetic acid" is the common name (see WP:COMMONNAME) and the IUPAC preferred name. -- Ed (Edgar181) 14:41, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. To substitute a common name which is used everywhere by a systematic one should be avoided.--Stone (talk) 15:20, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose in concurrence with opinions above. -- B.S. Lawrence (talk) 21:24, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Wikipedia is targeted at a general audience, and acetic acid is the most regular name used by the general audience to refer to the substance. --Plasmic Physics (talk) 22:03, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose: Wikipedia uses common names over IUPAC names, e.g. Caffeine not 1,3,7-trimethyl-1H-purine-2,6(3H,7H)-dione as an example at WP:COMMONNAME. –CWenger (talk) 22:35, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose- Wikipedia prefers common names, and the IUPAC prefers this retained name over the systematic one. Reyk YO! 01:51, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

Any additional comments:
For me this looks like even the scientists do not like the name. --Stone (talk) 15:18, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
  • If the common name takes precedence over the IUPAC name here, why is the reverse true at aluminum? --75.15.161.185 (talk) 16:09, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
NO! The common name is the preferred name of IUPAC and of scientists! --Stone (talk) 16:20, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
Because that is not a dispute between the common name and a systematic one, but between the British and American spellings of the same common name. It's not the same thing at all. Reyk YO! 01:59, 31 January 2011 (UTC)


The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The infobox needs fixing[edit]

The ChEMBL section has a big fat red X next to it. Someone who knows his or her stuff should have a look at it. Avengah (talk) 11:04, 18 March 2011 (UTC)


The abbreviation AcO does not make sense. It should be AcH and AcOH in that box. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.253.205.129 (talk) 10:59, 23 October 2011 (UTC)

British hijacking everything[edit]

I understand it drives the brits batshit for a population of 308 million to have a predominent spelling over a population of 60mil (about 120million if you include the rest of the western colonies and austrailia) but could you at least have the american measurements off to the side? Im getting pretty annoyed about having our measurements not even in a box to the right on some pages >.> —Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.233.215.96 (talk) 19:30, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

Can you be more specific about what you would like to see changed? The article already includes, for example, °F next to °C (in most places ... I added a few more). Anything else? 71.185.49.174 (talk) 19:49, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

Biochemistry by design?[edit]

May I suggest a change in the biochemistry section from the following sentence: "However, the concentration of free acetic acid in cells is kept at a low level to avoid disrupting the control of the pH of the cell contents." To the following (or something similar): "However, the concentration of free acetic acid in cells is kept at a low level, with the result that it has little influence on the pH of cell contents." I don't want to get into a Creationism versus Darwinism debate, but whichever way you look at it, the original sentence is a bit teleological and claims a mechanism of which we cannot be certain. We can't be sure that God's motive in arraning for low levels of free acetic acid was because He was concerned about pH, nor can we be sure that the mechanisms by which free acetate is kept low were the result of evolutionary pressure from acidification of the cell contents. There might be other reasons why the evolution of such mechanisms was favoured, not connected with pH. I know it's a minor nit-picky point, but this article is currently rated as a show-case of the very best Wikipedia can achieve, and woolly teleological statements in biology can be very harmful; teleology should be discouraged (but please, no offence intended to the original author). 149.155.96.5 (talk) 12:37, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

Acetic acid as a glass cleaner[edit]

Acetic acid is also used as a glass cleaner, both commercially and in many DIY formulations made with vinegar and dish detergent. For example, Bullseye Glass http://www.bullseyeglass.com/pdf/other_tech/glass_cleaning_basics.pdf recommends Spartan 3060 as a cleaner which won't leave streaks on fused glass http://www.bullseyeglass.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=178. Spartan's MSDF http://www.spartanchemical.com/spartan/msds/USA/English/3060.pdf provides its approximate formulation (Isopropanol, Acetic acid and nonionic detergent, used diluted 1:20). Note: this is not an Ad, just an illustration with examples. Streaks remaining on glass after thermal fusing are a significant issue with cleaner selection. PS. I don't contribute much, couldn't get <refs> to come out right. JamesBowlin (talk) 23:32, 17 July 2011 (UTC)

I'd say that SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) and similar detergents are in more common use for cleaning glassware in laboratories than cleaning mixtures, where chemically-active residues are not wanted. David Spector (talk) 16:30, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

Who invented this abbreviation?[edit]

When I was on the page for ethanoic acid, I read that it is „commonly“ abbreviated as Ac. I am not against the abbreviated of majuscule A & minuscule c [a very nice & convenient abbreviation if you ask me,] but accoding to scientific rules of chemical nomenclature, an abbreviation of a chemical shall only contain elements, not compounds.[1][2] There is even an interesting category of the naming of chemicals. Throughout my study of chemistry, I have never encountered exceptions to these rules [nor have I ever encountered the abbreviation of Ac, except only for the element 89. All I am asking if you can please provide with a reliable reference to your claim, say an updated book that includes & describes the abbreviation.

Also, if it is not too much to ask can you also [anyone] fix the synonyms for the page Acetic anhydride. Ethyl_acetate, [though the chemical structure to acetic acid], is not the synonym for acetate anhydride. So, „Ethanoyl ethanoate“ is not the synonym for Acetate anhydride. As you can read by the chemical name itself, the suffix „-ide“ [being a single atom anion] is not the same as „-ate“ [being a polyatomic anion.] Then again, you can reference back to the derivative of acetic acid, acetate & argue the same. So, please: All I ask for everyone in Wikipedia is not to edit Wikipedia without assurance of reliable information, which means everyone needs to do their job to research before editing the page. Use the playground to carry out any mischievous experiments. Thank you.
序名三「Jyonasan」 TalkStalk 20:08, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

You must not have spent much time in the field if you have never encountered such abbreviations. These abbreviations (Me, Et, Pr, Bu, Ac, etc.) are widely used, and are accepted by custom, if not by some IUPAC rule. If I can find a list of such abbreviations I will use it to reference the article, but what we have is correct.

Where is "ethyl acetate" in acetic anhydride? Ethanoyl ethanoate would be the equivalent for acetic acetate, using systematic nomenclature. Not pretty, but it's fine. --Rifleman 82 (talk) 21:12, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

Possibly outdated information[edit]

The section "Production" shows the distribution of global production by method as of 2005 (as can be seen from the reference article). 6 years have gone, it's considerable time. Could someone update the information? Thanks in advance! I'm sorry for previously incorrectly set question. The information appears to be much newer than I thought.
The pKa for the compound is slightly off. It should be adjusted to 4.7447. --46.109.99.15 (talk) 14:23, 18 December 2011 (UTC) (edited by myself)

--46.109.99.15 (talk) 19:27, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

Do you have a reference for that (I am somewhat skeptical about this high accuracy)? Materialscientist (talk) 00:36, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

Photo of a plastic bottle?[edit]

Why is there a photo of a plastic bottle with a clear liquid in it? What does it teach us about acetic acid?

It teaches us that the solution is colorless, of course. I like the image. If there is a better image for suggesting other properties, such as acidity and odor, please suggest it. David Spector (talk) 16:34, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

Insufficient citations[edit]

This article is lacking citations in many parts. There should be at least one citation for every paragraph. Most of the sections in this article does not fulfill that criteria. The Chemical reactions section has only one citation. Ethylene oxidation and Vinyl acetate monomer have zero. There are numerous other places where citation is needed, but not provided. These issues need to be fixed in order for the article to maintain its FA status.--FutureTrillionaire (talk) 18:23, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

Organic chemistry section[edit]

Aside from Fischer esterification, there is a distinct lack of organic chemistry within that subsection. Condensation and thermal decomposition reactions are not inherently organic type reactions. Moreover, what is meant by the OH group being the main site of reaction? Anyone who knows the reaction mechanisms for the described reactions, will know that the ketone group is the first to be attacked in most cases, the hydroxyl group is only involved in the final water elimination step. Plasmic Physics (talk) 05:39, 24 August 2013 (UTC)

An article in the Readers' Digest (online version) suggests many health benefits[edit]

The article is linked here: [3] It is not credited and I would suggest that it is not written by anyone with knowledge of the properties of cider vinegar. It suggests that it is a panacea. The fact that these views are being spread suggests that the Wikipedia article should aim to support or deny these claims. I'm not a doctor really, so I can't do it. (Yes I know I could cite sources and use third-party information, I was being humorous) Is there someone who can? DavidFarmbrough (talk) 08:00, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

Hydrogen acetate[edit]

Why is hydrogen acetate (HC2H3O2) not listed as a way to write acetic acid? Piguy101 (talk) 03:27, 16 February 2014 (UTC)

Because chemists never use that term and we do not want to induce naive readers to adopt such a practice. --Smokefoot (talk) 05:32, 16 February 2014 (UTC)