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
109-52-4 YesY
ChemSpider 7701 N
Jmol interactive 3D Image
PubChem 7991
RTECS number YV6100000
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)
4.97 g/100 mL
Acidity (pKa) 4.82
Main hazards irritant
R-phrases R34 R52/53
S-phrases S26 S36 S45 S61
Flash point 86 °C (187 °F; 359 K)
Related compounds
Related compounds
Butyric acid
Ethyl valerate
Pentyl pentanoate
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 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. Mevalonic acid is derived from valeric acid by methylation.


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.