BlogNCERTImportant Topic of Chemistry: Carboxylic Acids

Important Topic of Chemistry: Carboxylic Acids

An acid is a compound containing a carboxyl functional group. They occur widely in nature and also are synthetically manufactured by humans. Upon deprotonation, carboxylic acids yield a carboxylate anion with the overall formula R-COO–, which may form a spread of valuable salts like soaps.

The carboxylic acids are the most important functional groups that present bond C=O. Different routes often obtain these sorts of organic compounds. Some carboxylic acids, like acid, carboxylic acid or acid, are produced from fermentation. Most of those sorts of carboxylic acids are applied within the food industry.

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    Nomenclature of Carboxylic Acids

    Generally, their trivial names mention these organic compounds, containing the suffix “-ic acid”. An example of a bit of word for acid is ethanoic acid (CH3COOH). The suffix “-oic acid” is assigned within the IUPAC nomenclature of those compounds.

    1. The guidelines that have to be followed within the IUPAC nomenclature of carboxylic acids are listed below.
    2. The suffix “e” within the name of the corresponding alkane is replaced with “oic acid”.
    3. When the aliphatic chain contains just one carboxyl, the carboxylic carbon is usually numbered one. For instance, CH3COOH is known as acetic acid.
    4. The absolute number of carbon atoms is counted when the aliphatic chain contains quite one carboxyl. Therefore, the number of carboxyl groups is represented by Greek numeral prefixes like “di-“, “tri- “, etc.
    5. Acid is known by adding these prefixes and suffixes to the parent alkyl chain.

    Various Arabic numerals are used for indicating the positions of the carboxyl.

    The name “carboxylic acid” or “carboxy” can often be assigned for a carboxyl substituent on a carbon chain.

    An example of such terminology is the name 2-carbofuran for the compound 2-Furoic acid.

    Carboxylic Acid Examples

    As per IUPAC guidelines, some examples describing carboxylic acids’ nomenclature are provided below….

    Trivial Name and Formula IUPAC Name of the Carboxylic Acid
    H-COOH (Formic acid) Methanoic acid
    CH3CH=CH-COOH (Crotonic acid) But-2-enoic acid
    OH-COOH (Carbonic acid) Carbonic acid
    CH3(CH2)2COOH (Butyric acid) Butanoic acid

    Uses of Carboxylic Acids

    • Fatty acids that are essential to the citizenry are made from carboxylic acids.

    Example: omega-6 fatty acids & omega-3 fatty acids.

    • Higher fatty acids also are utilized in the manufacture of soaps.
    • The production of sentimental drinks and lots of other food products involves the utilization of the many carboxylic acids.
    • The manufacture of rubber involves the utilization of ethanoic acid as a coagulant.
    • Hexanedioic acid is employed within the manufacture of nylon-6,6.
    • Carboxylic acids have numerous applications in the rubber, textile, and leather industries.
    • Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid may be a widely used chelating agent.
    • The synthesis of the many drugs involves the utilization of those compounds. Therefore, carboxylic acids are vital in pharmaceuticals.
    • The production of the many polymers involves the utilization of compounds containing the carboxyl functional group.

    Ethanoic acid to Methane and Ethane

    The formula of acetic acid is C2H4O2. Acetic is additionally called acetic acid. Directly we cannot prepare methane and ethane from acetic acid. First, we’ve to convert ethanoic acid into sodium salt then we will prepare methane and ethane from acetic acid.

    – within the question, it’s asked to organize ethane and methane from acetic acid.

    – The common step in preparing methane and ethane from acetic acid is as follows.


    – within the above reaction, ethanoic acid reacts with caustic soda and forms sodium acetate and water because of the products.

    (i) Preparation of methane:

    The formed sodium acetate reacts with caustic soda on distillation and produces methane because of the product, and, therefore, the reaction follows.


    – within the above reaction, sodium acetate reacts with caustic soda and forms methane and washing soda because of the products.

    (ii) Preparation of ethane:

    On electrolysis, sodium acetate forms ethane because of the product and, therefore, the reaction is as follows.


    Within the above reaction, ethane, caustic soda, hydrogen gas, and CO2 are formed because of the products.

    Note: The formed washing soda (solid residue) are often easily removed after distillation because it settles at the rock bottom of the distillation flask as a solid. Electrolysis may be a decomposition process of ionic compounds into their respective chemicals by passing a direct current through the substances in dissolved form.

    Primary alcohol to carboxylic acid

    We will notice that the first alcohol gets oxidized to acid when oxidizing agents are added like permanganate of potash (KMnO4) in an acidic, alkaline or neutral medium. On employing a mild oxidant, we will get carboxylic acids from aldehydes.

    Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

    Q. What Is acid used for?

    Ans. In the manufacture of various polymers, biopolymers, coatings, adhesives, and prescription products, carboxylic acids and their various derivatives are used. They will even be used as solvents, antimicrobials, food additives, and flavourings.

    Q. What are samples of carboxylic acids?

    Ans. Carboxylic acids are hydrocarbon compounds during which a carboxyl has substituted one or more of the hydrogen atoms within the hydrocarbon. Methanoic acid (HCOOH), acetic acid (CH3COOH), propionic acid (C2H5COOH), and butyric acid (C3H7COOH) are the primary four carboxyl acids derived from alkanes.

    Q. What foods contain carboxylic acids?

    Ans. In plants and animals, certain carboxylic acids exist naturally. There’s the acid in citrus fruits, like oranges and lemons. An outsized acid with three ionizable hydrogen atoms is acid. It’s present in citrus fruits and provides them with a sour or tart taste.

    Q. Why are carboxylic acids acidic?

    Ans. The carboxylic acids are often acidic due to the hydrogen within the -COOH group.

    By using the thought of an acid as a “substance that donates protons (H+ ions) to other things.”

    A proton is moved from the -COOH group into a water molecule during a water solution.

    Q. Are carboxylic acids solid or weak?

    Ans. Carboxylic acids are defined as weak acids, meaning that during a neutral solution, The Carboxylic acids usually bond with hydrogen themselves, giving them a greater degree of stability.


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