The Lewis Dot Structure for Acetic Acid (CH3COOH)

Lewis Dot Structure for Acetic Acid
Created by MakeTheBrainHappy.

Above is the Lewis Dot Structure for Acetic Acid (CH3COOH). You could alternatively also draw the structure by including two dots for every bond. As you can see every single element has a filled valence shell with the two oxygen's each containing two lone pairs of electrons, the only instance of this phenomena within the Lewis Structure. In a sense this is a modified structure of methane (CH4) with the replacement of one hydrogen with the replacement of a carboxylic group (-COOH). As we will see the properties we observe within the Lewis structure have a significant impact on the properties of acetic acid.

The Greek Philosopher Theophrastus. Source

What is the history of acetic acid?

Due to the importance of different alcohols such as beer and wine in early civilizations, vinegar became one of the earliest chemical substances that was familiar to ancient peoples. Vinegar is formed by natural fermentation processes and contains approximately 5% acetic acid. One of the earliest mentions of acetic acid was by the Greek Philosopher Theophrastus who explained how to form different pigments, including those for white and green colors, with vinegar as an important constituent ingredient. 

Is Acetic Acid (CH3COOH) Polar or Nonpolar?

Acetic Acid (CH3COOH) is a polar molecule due to the presence of the functional group COOH, a carboxylic acid. It is also an acid in solution, releasing a small number of protons into solution which form H3O+. Due to its polar qualities it is found as a liquid at standard temperature and pressure in relation to its rather light molar mass. It has a melting point is between 16˚C to 17˚C while the boiling point is between 118˚C and 119˚C. These are again elevated due to the polarity of acetic acid. 

How is Acetic Acid (CH3COOH) utilized in the real world?

Acetic acid is useful due to its properties as a polar solvent and building block for other molecules, containing both a methyl (CH3) and COOH functional group. Nearly one third of produced acetic acid is utilized in order to produce "Elmer's glue" material. Inks, paints and coatings are also created via a reaction involving acetic acid. It is frequently utilized as a polar solvent in lab research settings and thereby has been involved in certain medical practices. As mentioned above acetic acid is also present in vinegar which has a variety of household uses; however, the acetic acid is diluted in water to a greater degree than in a research lab.  


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