Chemical Properties of Carboxylic Acids

  1. Ethanoic acid is a weak monoprotic acid. As such, its chemical properties are similar to acids such as hydrochloric acid, nitric acid and sulphuric acid.
  2. Ethanoic acid can react with:
    1. base
    2. metal carbonate
    3. metal
    4. alcohol

Reactions of Carboxylic Acids with Reactive Metals

Carboxylic acids react with the more reactive metals to produce a salt and hydrogen.

Carboxylic Acid + Reactive Metal → Salt + H2
Example:

CH3COOH + Zn → Zn(CH3COO)2 + H2

CH3COOH + Ca → Ca(CH3COO)2 + H2

HCOOH + Mg → Mg(HCOO)2 + H2


Reactions of Carboxylic Acids with Carbonates

As other acids, carboxylic acids react with carbonate metal to produce a salt, water and carbon dioxide.

Carboxylic Acid + Metal Carbonate → Salt + Carbon Dioxide + Water

Example:

HCOOH + Na2CO3 → HCOONa + CO2 + H2O

CH3COOH + CaCO3 → Ca(CH3COO)2 + CO2 + H2O


Neutralisation

As other acids, carboxylic acids react with base oxide or alkali to produce salt and water.

Carboxylic Acid + Base Oxide/Alkali → Salt + Water

Example:

HCOOH + CaO → Ca(HCOO)2 + H2O

CH3COOH + NaOH → CH3COONa + H2O

CH3COOH + Al2O3 → Al(CH3COO)3 + H2O


Esterification

Carboxylic acid reacts with alcohol with the presence of .concentrated sulphuric acid as catalyst to produce ester and water.

Carboxylic Acids + Alcohol → Ester + Water

Example:
CH3COOH + C2H5OH → CH3COOC2H+ H2O

CH3COOH + CH3OH → CH3COOCH3 + H2O

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