Carboxylic acid

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An alternate name for organic acids. Carboxylic acids are weaker than inorganic acids. They contain carbon and a proton produced from one or more carboxylic acid groups (-COOH). Examples of organic acids are acetic, formic, benzoic, lactic and citric acids along with fatty acids and amino acids. Carboxylic acids occur naturally in plants, fruits, animals and microorganisms. They can have detrimental effects on materials, such as paper, leather, metals and photographs. Of concern in a museum environment is the volatility of many of organic acids and their ubiquitous presence in many materials.

Synonyms and Related Terms

organic acid

Resources and Citations

  • P.Hatchfield, Pollutants in the Museum Environment, Archetype Press, London, 2002.