Terephthalic acid

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A white, crystalline compound. Terephthalic acid is used in the production of polyethylene terephthalate (polyester) resins, fibers, and films.

Synonyms and Related Terms

1,4-benzenedicarboxylic acid; p-phthalic acid; Tephthol; TPA

Chemical structure

Terephthalic acid.jpg


  • Mild irritant.
  • Combustible. Flash point = 260 C
  • ThermoFisher: SDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

Insoluble in water, chloroform, ether, acetic acid. Soluble in hot ethanol and alkalis.

Composition C6H4(COOH)2
CAS 100-21-0
Melting Point 140.6 C
Density 1.51 g/ml
Molecular Weight mol. wt.=166.1
Boiling Point 288 C

Resources and Citations

  • The Merck Index, Susan Budavari (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Whitehouse Station, NJ, 12th Edition, 1996 Comment: entry 9306
  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 605
  • Hoechst Celanese Corporation, Dictionary of Fiber & Textile Technology (older version called Man-made Fiber and Textile Dictionary, 1965), Hoechst Celanese Corporation, Charlotte NC, 1990
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993

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