What Is Acetic Acid Also Known As?

Acetic acid molecule icon stock illustration. Illustration of structure


Acetic acid is a colorless liquid that has a distinct and pungent smell. It is a weak acid and is commonly used in many industries, including food, pharmaceutical, and agriculture. Acetic acid is also known by other names, and in this article, we will explore what these names are and where they come from.

What is Acetic Acid?

Acetic acid is an organic acid that is formed by the oxidation of ethanol. It is also produced naturally by bacteria during the fermentation process, which is why it is found in many food products, such as vinegar. Acetic acid has a chemical formula of CH3COOH and is also known as ethanoic acid. It has a molecular weight of 60.05 g/mol and a boiling point of 118.1°C.

Other Names for Acetic Acid

Acetic acid is known by many different names, depending on its use and context. Here are some of the most common names:


Vinegar is a solution of acetic acid in water, typically containing between 5% and 20% acetic acid. It is commonly used as a condiment and food preservative.

Glacial Acetic Acid

Glacial acetic acid is a highly concentrated form of acetic acid that contains no water. It is used in the manufacture of textiles, plastics, and other chemicals.

Methanecarboxylic Acid

Methanecarboxylic acid is a systematic name for acetic acid, derived from its chemical formula.

Acidum Aceticum

Acidum aceticum is the Latin name for acetic acid and is used in the pharmaceutical industry.

Uses of Acetic Acid

Acetic acid has many uses in different industries. Here are some of the most common uses:

Food Industry

Acetic acid is used as a food preservative and flavoring agent. It is also the main component of vinegar and is used in the production of many salad dressings and sauces.

Textile Industry

Acetic acid is used in the manufacture of acetate fibers, which are commonly used in clothing and other textiles.

Pharmaceutical Industry

Acetic acid is used in the production of many drugs and medications, including aspirin and antibiotics.

Cleaning Industry

Acetic acid is a natural and eco-friendly cleaning solution that can be used to clean surfaces, floors, and windows.


Acetic acid is a versatile and widely used chemical that is known by many names, including vinegar, glacial acetic acid, methanecarboxylic acid, and acidum aceticum. It is used in many industries, including food, textile, pharmaceutical, and cleaning. Understanding the different names and uses of acetic acid can help you better appreciate its importance in our daily lives.