Maleic acid

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An organic acid that exists as white crystals at room temperature. Maleic acid is a strong irritating acid that is used in the dyeing and finishing of Wool, Cotton, and Silk. It is also used as a preservative for fats and oils. Maleic acid is not the same as Malic acid that is obtained from apples.

Synonyms and Related Terms

maleinic acid; malenic acid; cis-butenedioic acid; toxilic acid; cis-1,2-ethylenedicarboxylic acid; resina maleica (Esp., Port.)

Chemical structure

Maleic acid.jpg


  • Strong irritant.
  • Toxic by ingestion.
  • Combustible producing toxic fumes.
  • ThermoFisher: SDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

Soluble in water, ethanol, acetone, glacial acetic acid. Slightly soluble in ether. Insoluble in benzene.

Composition HOOCC2H2COOH
CAS 110-16-7
Melting Point 138-139 C
Density 1.59 g/ml
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 116.1

Resources and Citations

  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • The Merck Index, Susan Budavari (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Whitehouse Station, NJ, 12th Edition, 1996 Comment: entry 5743
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998

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