Valeric acid

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Valeric acid[1]
Valeric acid
IUPAC name
Pentanoic acid
Other names
Valeric acid
Butane-1-carboxylic acid
Valerianic acid
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.003.344
RTECS number YV6100000
Molar mass 102.133 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)
4.97 g/100 mL
Acidity (pKa) 4.82
-66.85·10−6 cm3/mol
Main hazards irritant
R-phrases (outdated) R34 R52/53
S-phrases (outdated) S26 S36 S45 S61
NFPA 704
Flammability code 1: Must be pre-heated before ignition can occur. Flash point over 93 °C (200 °F). E.g., canola oilHealth code 3: Short exposure could cause serious temporary or residual injury. E.g., chlorine gasReactivity code 0: Normally stable, even under fire exposure conditions, and is not reactive with water. E.g., liquid nitrogenSpecial hazards (white): no codeNFPA 704 four-colored diamond
Flash point 86 °C (187 °F; 359 K)
Related compounds
Related compounds
Butyric acid, Hexanoic acid
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Infobox references

Valeric acid, or pentanoic acid, is a straight-chain alkyl carboxylic acid with the chemical formula CH
COOH. 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. Salts and esters of valeric acid are known as valerates or pentanoates. 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. Mevalonic acid is derived from valeric acid by methylation and hydroxylation.


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.