Succinic acid

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Colorless, odorless crystals that occur naturally in Amber. Succinic acid was first separated from the distillate of amber in 1546 by Agricola. Commercially, succinic acid is used as a Sequestrant and Buffer. It is also used in the manufacture of dyes, lacquers, and photographic solutions.

Synonyms and Related Terms

butanedioic acid; acid of amber; amber acid; ethylenesuccinic acid; BernsteinsSure (Deut.)



Chemical structure

Succinic acid.jpg


  • Contact causes irritation and possible burns.
  • Fisher Scientific: SDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

Soluble in ethanol, ether. Slightly soluble in water: pH =2.7 (0.1 M solution)

Insoluble in benzene, carbon disulfide, carbon tetrachloride, ligroin.

Composition CO2H(CH2)2CO2H
CAS 110-15-6
Melting Point 185-1.87 C
Density 1.55-1.56 g/ml
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 118.1
Boiling Point 235 C

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 54
  • 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: entry 9037
  • Susan E. Schur, Conservation Terminology: A review of Past & Current Nomenclature of Materials, Technology and Conservation, Spring (p.34-39); Summer (p.35-38); Fall (p.25-36), 1985