Properties of Acetic Acid | Science Experiment

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In this experiment, we will determine the properties of acetic acid by performing various chemical reactions.

Basic Building Concept

1. Acetic acid is the common name for ethanoic acid.

2. It belongs to the family of carboxylic acid.

3. CH3COOH is the chemical formula of ethanoic acid.


To determine the given properties of acetic acid:

1. Odour,

2. Solubility in water,

3. Effect on litmus paper,

4. Reaction with sodium bicarbonate.

Materials Required

1. Acetic acid.

2. Litmus paper,

3. Sodium bicarbonate,

4. Test tube,

5. Water,

6. Test tube sand,

7. Lime water.


1. Acetic acid, which is ethanoic acid, is very weak in nature.

2. Its 5-8% solution in water is called vinegar.

3. It is acid, so it turns blue litmus to red.

4. Ethanoic acid is highly soluble in water.

5. It ionises partially in water

CH3COOH + H2O ⇌ CH3COO-(aq) + H3O+ (aq)

6. This reaction is reversible.

7. In reaction with sodium bicarbonate, carbon dioxide gas turns lime water milky. If an excess of carbon dioxide passes through the solution, then milkiness disappears.


Ca(OH)2 + CO2 → CaCO3↓ + H2O

Lime water White precipitate

CaCO3 + H2O +CO2 → Ca(HCO3)2


Procedure and Observation



In a test tube, take a small amount of ethanoic acid and smell it.

A pungent smell comes out of the test tube.Therefore, ethanoic acid has a pungent and irritating smell.


In a test tube, take 2ml of water and add a few drops of ethanoic acid. Shake it well.

A homogenous solution is formed.Therefore, ethanoic acid is soluble in water in all proportions.


Take two litmus papers, rea and blue. With the help of a dropper, drop a few drops of ethanoic acid on both the litmus paper.

Blue litmus is changed into red, and there is no red litmus.Therefore, we concluded that acetic acid is acidic in nature.


In a test tube, take 2ml of ethanoic acid and then add sodium bicarbonate. A gas will evolve from the solution. Pass this gas through lime water.

An odourless, colourless gas is evolved.

Lime water is turned to milky.

There was a reaction between acetic acid and sodium bicarbonate. As a result, carbon dioxide gas is evolved.


1. Ethanoic acid has a pungent and irritating smell.

2. Ethanoic acid and water forms a true solution, i.e., they can combine in any proportion.

3. Ethanoic acid turns blue litmus red; therefore, it is acidic.

4. There was a reaction between acetic acid and sodium bicarbonate; as a result, a carbon dioxide gas is evolved.


1. Keep the test tube away from yourself.

2. Do not try to taste the chemicals.

3. Use moist litmus paper.

4. Wah your hands properly after the experiment.

5. Use fresh lime water.

6. Do not smell the vapour directly.


In this way, we have determined some properties of acetic acid.

Viva Questions With Answers

Q.1 What was the aim of our experiment?

ANS. To determine the various properties of acetic acid.

Q.2 What is the chemical name or IUPAC name of acetic acid?

ANS. Ethanoic acid

Q.3 Give the formula of ethanoic acid?


Q.4 From which family does the acetic acid belongs?

ANS. Carboxylic acid

Q.5 What is the functional group of a carboxylic acid?


Q.6 What is the nature of acetic acid?

ANS. Weak acid

Q.7 Give an equation of reaction to show the reaction between acetic acid and sodium bicarbonate.


Q.8 Show the ionisation of acetic acid through a reaction.

ANS. CH3COOH + H2O ⇌ CH3COO-(aq) + H3O+ (aq)

Q.9 What do you call the solution of water and 5-8% acetic acid?

ANS. Vinegar

Q.10 Tell a method of preparing ethanoic acid?

ANS. An ethanoic acid can be prepared by the oxidation of ethanol.


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