Key Difference – Acetic Acid vs Acetate
The key difference between acetic acid and acetate is that acetic acid is a neutral compound whereas acetate is an anion having a net negative electrical charge.
Acetic acid is an organic compound that helps to manufacture vinegar while acetate ion is the conjugate base of the acetic acid. Most importantly, the formation of the acetate ion occurs by the removal of the hydrogen atom in the carboxylic group of the acetic acid.
What is Acetic Acid?
Acetic acid is an organic compound having the chemical formula CH3COOH. The molar mass of this compound is 60 g/mol while the IUPAC name of this compound is Ethanoic acid. Furthermore, at room temperature, acetic acid is a colorless liquid with a sour taste. Acetic acid is categorized as a carboxylic acid as a result of the presence of a carboxylic acid group (-COOH).
Glacial acetic acid is the concentrated form of acetic acid. Moreover, acetic acid has a pungent odor, which is similar to the odor of the vinegar and a characteristic sour taste as well. It is also a weak acid because it dissociates partially in aqueous solution, releasing acetate anion and a proton. Acetic acid has one dissociable proton per molecule. However, glacial acid is an irritant that is highly corrosive.
Acetic acid is a simple carboxylic acid; in fact, it is the second simplest carboxylic acid. In the solid state of acetic acid, the molecules form chains of molecules via hydrogen bonding. However, in the vapor phase of acetic acid, it forms dimers (two molecules connected to each other via hydrogen bonds). Since liquid acetic acid is a polar protic solvent, it is miscible with many polar and nonpolar solvents.
What is Acetate?
Acetate is an anion formed from the removal of a hydrogen atom from acetic acid. This anion has a net negative charge (the charge is -1 as a result of the release of one proton). Acetate ion cannot stay as an individual compound because of its charge, which is highly reactive. Thus, it exists mostly as a salt of an alkali metal. Acetate ion is the conjugate base of acetic acid, which consequently forms from the dissociation of the acetic acid.
The chemical formula of this anion is C2H3O2− while its IUPAC name is ethanoate. Furthermore, the molar mass of acetate is 59 g/mol. Specifically, at pH values above 5.5, acetic acid exists as acetate anion, releasing a proton spontaneously. This is because, at high pH, acetate ion is stable than the acetic acid.
What is the Difference Between Acetic Acid and Acetate?
Acetic Acid vs Acetate
|Acetic acid is an organic compound having the chemical formula CH3COOH.||Acetate is an anion formed from the removal of a hydrogen atom from acetic acid.|
|The molar mass of acetic acid is 60 g/mol.||But the molar mass of acetate is 59 g/mol.|
|Acetic acid has no net charge.||Acetate has a negative charge.|
|Acetic acid is an organic molecule.||Acetate is an organic anion.|
|Acetic acid molecules are stable at low pH value (around pH 5).||Acetate ion is stable at high pH values (higher than pH 5.5).|
Summary – Acetic Acid vs Acetate
Acetic acid is the second simplest carboxylic acid. Acetate, on the other hand, is an anion derived from acetic acid. The key difference between acetic acid and acetate is that acetic acid is a neutral compound whereas acetate is an anion having a net negative electrical charge.
1. “Acetic Acid.” Wikipedia, 18 Apr. 2018, Available here.
2. “Acetic Acid.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem Compound Database, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Available here.
3. “Acetate.” Wikipedia, 10 Apr. 2018, Available here.