Valeric acid

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Valeric acid[1]
Valeric acid
CAS number 109-52-4 YesY
PubChem 7991
ChemSpider 7701 N
RTECS number YV6100000
Jmol-3D images Image 1
Molecular formula C5H10O2
Molar mass 102.13 g mol−1
Appearance Colorless liquid
Density 0.930 g/cm³
Melting point −34.5 °C (−30.1 °F; 238.7 K)
Boiling point 186 to 187 °C (367 to 369 °F; 459 to 460 K)
Solubility in water 4.97 g/100 mL
Acidity (pKa) 4.82
R-phrases R34 R52/53
S-phrases S26 S36 S45 S61
Main hazards irritant
Flash point 86 °C (187 °F; 359 K)
Related compounds
Related compounds Butyric acid
Ethyl valerate
Pentyl pentanoate
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)
 N (verify) (what is: YesY/N?)
Infobox references

Valeric acid, or pentanoic acid, is a straight-chain alkyl carboxylic acid with the chemical formula C5H10O2. Like other low-molecular-weight carboxylic acids, it has a very unpleasant odor. It is found naturally in the perennial flowering plant valerian (Valeriana officinalis), from which it gets its name. Its primary use is in the synthesis of its esters. Volatile esters of valeric acid tend to have pleasant odors and are used in perfumes and cosmetics. Ethyl valerate and pentyl valerate are used as food additives because of their fruity flavors.

Valeric acid appears similar in structure to GHB and the neurotransmitter GABA in that it is a short-chain carboxylic acid, although it lacks the alcohol and amine functional groups that contribute to the biological activities of GHB and GABA, respectively. It differs from valproic acid simply by lacking a 3-carbon side-chain.


Valeric acid can cause irritation if it comes into contact with the skin, eyes, or mucous membranes.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Merck Index, 12th Edition, 10042.