Everyday Chemicals: Acetic Acid

Most people recognize acetic acid as the main component of vinegar, with five percent to 20 percent acetic acid per volume. Undiluted, this product is known as glacial acetic acid. Bell Chem ensures a constant supply of acetic acid is available for our customers and can help you learn more about this everyday chemical. 

In Medicine
Research from the National Institute of Health Research noted that a one percent dilution of acetic acid applied to burn wounds inhibits pathogenic growth and deters Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection and biofilm formation. Acetic acid’s antimicrobial properties make it ideal for treating outer ear infections. In fact, the World Health Organization has listed acetic acid as one of the world’s essential medicines. Meanwhile, in physiotherapy, acetic acid acts as a carrier in the process of iontophoresis, in which medicine is delivered via the surface of the skin. Bypassing needles by administering medication through the porous skin is non-invasive and well received.

In the Household
The recent push for organic and eco-friendly household cleaners has led to an upswing in the use of acetic acid — generally in the form of vinegar — as an antibacterial, anti-fungal, and overall antibiotic cleaner of everything from windows to hard surfaces. Additionally, most paints and adhesives are composed of vinyl acetate, a chemical compound consisting of acetic acid, ethylene, and oxygen along with a catalyst. 

In Science
Meanwhile, in biochemical laboratories, acetic acid is bound to coenzyme A to act as a carbohydrate and fat metabolizer. Its properties cause it to easily mix with chloroform, hexane, water, and other liquids. Organic compounds recrystallize when acetic acid is used as a solvent.

The vast array of functions performed by acetic acid prove it is a positive addition for almost every industry. Bell Chem is based in Longwood, FL (just north of Orlando) with hundreds of products stocked in their 50,000+ square-foot warehouse. You can expect the highest quality products, expedited shipping options for maximum efficiency, and unrivaled personalized customer service. Let our knowledgeable and friendly customer service representatives and accounting staff personalize all your needs by either calling 407-339-BELL (2355) or by sending us an online message.