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From Wikipedia

Sodium acetate

Sodium acetate, NaOAc, also sodium ethanoate, is the sodiumsalt of acetic acid. This colourless salt has a wide range of uses.



Sodium acetate is used in the textile industry to neutralize sulfuric acid waste streams, and as a photoresist while using aniline dyes. It is also a pickling agent in chrome tanning, and it helps to retard vulcanization of chloroprene in synthetic rubber production.


Sodium acetate may be added to foods as a seasoning. It may be used in the form of sodium diacetate— a 1:1 complex of sodium acetate and acetic acid, given the E-numberE262. A frequent use of this form is in salt and vinegar chips in the United States. Many US brands, including national manufacturer Frito-Lay, sell "salt and vinegar flavoured" chips that use this chemical, with lactose and smaller percentages of other chemicals, in lieu of a real salt and vinegar preparation.

Buffer solution

As the conjugate base of a weak acid, a solution of sodium acetate and acetic acid can act as a buffer to keep a relatively constant pH. This is useful especially in biochemical applications where reactions are pH dependent.

Heating pad

Sodium acetate is also used in consumer heating pads or hand warmers and is also used in hot ice. Sodium acetate trihydrate crystals melt at 58°C, dissolving in their water of crystallization. When they are heated to around 100°C, and subsequently allowed to cool, the aqueous solution becomes supersaturated. This solution is capable of cooling to room temperature without forming crystals. By clicking on a metal disc in the heating pad, a nucleation centre is formed which causes the solution to crystallize into solid sodium acetate trihydrate again. The bond-forming process of crystallization is exothermic, hence heat is emitted. The latent heat of fusion is about 264–289 kJ/kg. Unlike some other types of heat packs that depend on irreversible chemical reactions, sodium acetate heat packs can be easily recharged by boiling until all crystals are dissolved; they can be reused indefinitely.


For laboratory use, sodium acetate is inexpensive, and is usually purchased instead of being synthesized. It is sometimes produced in a laboratory experiment by the reaction of acetic acid with sodium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate, or sodium hydroxide. These reactions produce aqueous sodium acetate and water. Carbon dioxide is produced in the reaction with sodium carbonate and bicarbonate, and it leaves the reaction vessel as a gas (unless the reaction vessel is pressurized). This is the well-known "volcano" reaction between baking soda and vinegar.


Industrially, sodium acetate is prepared from glacial acetic acid and sodium hydroxide.

C2H4O2 + NaOH → NaO2CCH3 + H2O


Sodium acetate can be used to form an ester with an alkyl halide such as bromoethane:

NaO2CCH3 + BrCH2CH3→ C2H5O2CCH3 + NaBr

Caesium salts catalyze this reaction.


Acetate is a derivative of acetic acid. Two types of derivatives are known, salts and ester. Most of the approximately 5 billion kilograms of acetic acid produced annually in industry are acetates, which usually take the form of polymers. In nature, acetate is the most common building block for biosynthesis. For example, the fatty acids are produced by connecting C2 units derived from acetate.

Nomenclature and presentation of formula

When part of a salt, the formula of the acetate anion is written as CH3CO2−, C2H3O2−, and CH3COO−. Chemists abbreviate acetate as OAc− and AcO−. Thus, HOAc is the abbreviation for acetic acid, NaOAc for sodium acetate, and EtOAc for ethyl acetate.

The name for acetate, sanctioned by IUPAC, the international committee charged with naming chemical compounds, is ethanoate. This term is rarely encountered.


The acetate anion, [CH3COO]−, is one of the carboxylate family. It is the conjugate base of acetic acid. Above pH of 5.5, acetic acid converts to acetate:


Many acetate salts are ionic, indicated by their tendency to dissolve well in water. A commonly encountered acetate in the home is sodium acetate, a white solid that can be prepared by combining vinegar and sodium bicarbonate ("bicarb"):

CH3COOH + NaHCO3→ CH3COO−Na+ + H2O + CO2

More specialized metal acetates can have complicated structures. Acetate is a relatively strong ligand in coordination chemistry. Examples of acetate complexes include chromium(II) acetate and basic zinc acetate.


Commercially important acetate salts are aluminium acetate, used in dyeing, ammonium acetate, a precursor to acetamide, and potassium acetate, used as a diuretic. All three salts are colourless and highly soluble in water.


Acetate esters have the general formula CH3CO2R, where R is an organyl group. The esters are the dominant forms of acetate in the marketplace. Unlike the acetate salts, acetate esters are often liquids, lipophilic, and sometimes volatile. They are popular because they have inoffensive, often sweet odors, they are inexpensive, and they are usually of low toxicity.


Almost half of acetic acid production is consumed in the production of vinyl acetate, precursor to polyvinyl alcohol, which is a component of many paints. The second largest use of acetic acid is consumed in the production of cellulose acetate. In fact, "acetate" is jargon for cellulose acetate, which is used in the production of fibres or diverse products, e.g. the acetate discs used in audio record production. Cellulose acetate can be found in many household products. Many industrial solvents are acetates, including methyl acetate, ethyl acetate, isopropyl acetate, ethylhexyl acetate. Butyl acetate is a fragrance used in food products.

Acetate in biology

Acetate is a common anion in biology. It is mainly utilized by organisms in the form of acetyl coenzyme A.

Intraperitoneal injection of sodium acetate (20 or 60 mg per kg body mass) was found to induce headache in sensitized rats, and it has been proposed that acetate resulting from oxidation of ethanol is a major factor in causing hangovers. Increased serum acetate levels lead to accumulation of adenosine in many tissues including the brain, and administration of the adenosine receptor antagonist caffeine to rats after ethanol was found to decrease nociceptive behavior.

From Yahoo Answers

Question:It is possible to recover it with the hydrolysis of ethyl acetate and water? It is possible to recover it with the hydrolysis of ethyl acetate and water? Is any catalyst required? --- I have to recover ethanol from 1L ethyl acetate,so i am wondering can this recovery done by normal distillation (without catalyst)

Answers:Yes. Esters are easily hydrolyzed in basic conditions, which would result in ethanol and acetate rather than acetic acid. Acidification after hydrolysis will yield acetic acid. So a sample procedure would be to add sodium hydroxide in water to hydrolyze the ethyl acetate, and then add hydrochloric acid. Esters can also be hydrolyzed in acid, which would yield acetic acid directly, but I think the yield is worse, as the acid can also catalyze the esterification reaction. Distillation is a good way to separate ethanol from acetic acid and water, but there is no ethanol in ethyl acetate. The ethanol is created by the hydrolysis step. The hydrolysis is slow in pure water, but can be catalyzed by either acid or base. If you hydrolyze in base, the acetic acid will be stuck as [sodium, eg.] acetate and will not distill off, making it even easier to distill off ethanol.

Question:Hi, Just a quick and simple chemistry question for you: May you please create a chemical equation for reacting acetic acid with sodium hydroxide? Please label states and balance it as well. Thank you for your time.

Answers:HC2H3O2(aq) + NaOH(s) ------> H2O(l) + NaC2H3O2(s)

Question:how would i write the total ionic equation and the net ionic equation to this reactionn?

Answers:Total ionic equation: HC2H3O2 + Na+ + OH- -> H2O + Na+ + C2H3O2- The acetic acid is a weak acid, so it must be written as a molecule. Sodium hydroxide is a strong base, meaning that 100% of its ions break up, so it has to be written separately. Water is a polar covalent compound, so it has to be written as a molecule. What we have left are sodium and acetate ions floating around in solution. Sodium (Na+) is the spectator ion, so if we remove this ion from both sides of the equation, we have the net ionic equation: HC2H3O2 + OH- -> H2O + C2H3O2-

Question:Propose reaction mechanisms for both of these reactions (show all resonance structures where applicable)

Answers:Drawing these structures is practically impossible here. In acid catalysis the carbonyl group of the ester is protonated allowing nucleophillic attack by a water molecule at the cabonyl carbon and ethanol is eliminated in the addition-elimination reaction. In base promoted hydrolysis the hydroxide ion (a strong nucleophile) directly attacks the carbonyl carbon and again ethanol is eliminated in the addition-elimination reaction. This produces the sodium salt of the acid - to get the acid you then need to acidify the solution.

From Youtube

Sodium Acetate Demo :Mr. Keller, Chemistry Teacher, demonstrates the rapid crystallization of sodium acetate. This chemical, a common vinegary-smelling ingredient in salt & vinegar chips, has a fascinating ability to form a super-saturated solution. In a super-saturated solution the amount of solute dissolved exceeds the amount normally soluble at a given temperature. When such a solution meets a seed crystal or a rough surface it crystallizes almost instantly. This is very cool to watch. It also releases enough heat for this chemical to be used in instant heat packs. Sometimes it is called hot ice. For the chemists out there: sodium acetate is the sodium salt of acetic acid. Acetic acid, as you may well know, is also known as ordinary vinegar. Neutralize acetic acid to a phenolphthalein endpoint with sodium hydroxide and voila! sodium acetate.

Make Hot Ice and Ethanol from Nail Polish Remover (Ethyl Acetate) :In this Video we make Sodium Acetate and Ethanol from Non-Acetone Nail Polish Remover (Ethyl Acetate). Several separation processes are shown for the beginning chemist to try out.