Acetic anhydride

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A colorless liquid with a strong acetic acid odor. Acetic anhydride is a strong acetylating agent and is used primarily for the production of cellulose acetate fibers and plastics. It is also used in the production of pharmaceuticals, dyes, perfumes, and explosives.

Synonyms and Related Terms

acetic acid anhydride; acetyl oxide; acetic oxide; ethanoic anhydride

Chemical structure

Acetic anhydride.jpg

Other Properties

Reacts with water slowly to form acetic acid. Reacts with alcohols to form the corresponding acetate. Soluble in chloroform and ether.

Composition (CH3CO)2O
CAS 108-24-7
Melting Point -73
Density 1.080
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 102.2
Refractive Index 1.3904
Boiling Point 139

Hazards and Safety

Readily combustible, fire hazard. Overexposure may result in edema, eye irritation, cough, skin burns and dermatitis.

International Chemical Safety Card

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: ref. index=1.3904
  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p.8
  • Hoechst Celanese Corporation, Dictionary of Fiber & Textile Technology (older version called Man-made Fiber and Textile Dictionary, 1965), Hoechst Celanese Corporation, Charlotte NC, 1990
  • CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, Robert Weast (ed.), CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, v. 61, 1980 Comment: ref. index=1.389