Pyroligneous acid

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Pyroligneous acid
8030-97-5 YesY
EC number 232-450-0
Density 1.08 g/mL[1]
Boiling point 99 °C (210 °F; 372 K)
EU classification Harmful Xn
R-phrases R10-R21-R36/37/38
S-phrases S16-S26-S36
Flash point 44 °C (111 °F; 317 K)
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, is a dark liquid produced through the natural act of carbonization, which occurs when wood is heated in an airless container during charcoal production. Its main components are acetic acid, acetone, and methanol.

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.


During the United States Civil War, cooks in the Confederate States of America tried to make up for an increasing deficiency in salt by preserving meat and fish in pyroligneous acid, which was not very effective.[2]


  1. ^ a b c Pyroligneous acid from Sigma-Aldrich
  2. ^ Kurlansky, Mark (2002). Salt: A World History. Penguin Books. pp. 267–68. ISBN 0-14-200161-9. 

External links[edit]