Tricarboxylic acid

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A tricarboxylic acid is an organic carboxylic acid whose chemical structure contains three carboxyl functional groups (-COOH). The best-known example of a tricarboxylic acid is citric acid.


Tricarboxylic acid is used in the Citric Acid Cycle (TCA) which is fundamental to all aerobic lifeforms. This cycle converts NADH and FADH2 from pyruvate, which is created from citric acid.


Common name IUPAC name Molecular formula Structural formula
Citric acid 2-hydroxypropane-1,2,3-tricarboxylic acid C6H8O7 File:Citric acid structure.png
Isocitric acid 1-hydroxypropane-1,2,3-tricarboxylic acid C6H8O7 File:Isocitric acdid structure.png
Aconitic acid Prop-1-ene-1,2,3-tricarboxylic acid C6H6O6 File:cis-aconitic acid structure.pngFile:Trans-aconitic acid structure.png

(cis-form & trans-form)

Propane-1,2,3-tricarboxylic acid Propane-1,2,3-tricarboxylic acid C3H5(COOH)3 File:Carballylic acid structure.png
Trimesic acid benzene-1,3,5-tricarboxylic acid C9H6O6 File:Trimesic acid structure.png

See also[edit]