Pyroligneous acid

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Pyroligneous acid[1][2]
Other names
wood vinegar
8030-97-5 YesY
EC Number 232-450-0
Appearance Yellow to red liquid
Odor acrid smoky
Density 1.08 g/mL
Boiling point 99 °C (210 °F; 372 K)
Harmful Xn
R-phrases R10-R21-R36/37/38
S-phrases S16-S26-S36
Flash point 44 °C (111 °F; 317 K)
Related compounds
Related compounds
Liquid smoke
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Infobox references

Pyroligneous acid, also called wood vinegar[3][4] or wood acid,[5] is a dark liquid produced through the natural act of carbonization, which occurs when wood is heated in an airless container during charcoal production, such as pyrolysis.

Chemical components[edit]

The principal components of pyroligneous acid are acetic acid, acetone and methanol. It was once used as a commercial source for acetic acid. In addition, the vinegar often contains 80-90% water along with some 200 organic compounds.

Food Preservation[edit]

During the United States Civil War it became increasingly difficult for the Confederate States of America to obtain much needed salt. Curing meat and fish with pyroligneous acid was attempted by cooks to compensate for this deficiency. Unfortunately for the Confederate States Army it was not a comparable method of food preservation. [6]


  1. ^ Pyroligneous acid from Sigma-Aldrich
  2. ^ George A. Burdock (2010), "PYROLIGNEOUS ACID", Fenaroli's Handbook of Flavor Ingredients (6th ed.), Taylor & Francis, pp. 1774–1775, ISBN 978-1-4200-9077-2 
  3. ^ Looa, A.Y.; Jaina, K.; Darahb, I. (2007). "Antioxidant and radical scavenging activities of the pyroligneous acid from a mangrove plant, Rhizophora apiculata". Food Chemistry 104 (1): 300–307. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2006.11.048. Retrieved 16 November 2015. 
  4. ^ Jung, Kyung-Hwan (2007). "Growth inhibition effect of pyroligneous acid on pathogenic fungus,Alternaria mali, the agent of Alternaria blotch of apple". Biotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering 12 (3): 318–322. doi:10.1007/BF02931111. Retrieved 16 November 2015. 
  5. ^ Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
  6. ^ Kurlansky, Mark (2002). Salt: A World History. Penguin Books. pp. 267–68. ISBN 0-14-200161-9. 

External links[edit]