Question #470b1

1 Answer
Nov 19, 2015

Because acetic acid contains 2 carbon atoms (and 4 hydrogen, and 2 oxygen).


Acetic acid belongs to the family of carboxylic acids. Formic acid (or methanoic) is the simplest, and its formula is #HC(=O)OH#; the next member of the homologous series is #H_3C-C(=O)OH#, ethanoic or acetic acid, then propanoic (propionic acid) acid, butanoic acid (butyric acid), and so on. The acidity (the #K_a# values) of these acids decrease down the series (as the carbon chain gets longer). Why?