butyric acid

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butyric acid

(byo͞otĭr`ĭk) or

butanoic acid

(byo͞otənō`ĭk), CH3CH2CH2CO2H, viscous, foul-smelling, liquid carboxylic acid; m.p. about −5°C;; b.p. 163.5°C;. It is miscible with water, ethanol, and ether. It is a low molecular weight fatty acidfatty acid,
any of the organic carboxylic acids present in fats and oils as esters of glycerol. Molecular weights of fatty acids vary over a wide range. The carbon skeleton of any fatty acid is unbranched. Some fatty acids are saturated, i.e.
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 that is present in butter as an ester of glycerol; the odor of rancid butter is due largely to the presence of free butyric acid. Butyric acid is used in the manufacture of plastics. Isobutyric acid, or 2-methylpropanoic acid, (CH3)2CHCO2H, is a geometric isomerisomer
, in chemistry, one of two or more compounds having the same molecular formula but different structures (arrangements of atoms in the molecule). Isomerism is the occurrence of such compounds. Isomerism was first recognized by J. J. Berzelius in 1827.
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 of the butyric acid described above; it has different physical properties but similar chemical properties.

Butyric Acid


a saturated monobasic carboxylic acid of the aliphatic series; a colorless liquid with a sharp, unpleasant odor, readily soluble in water and organic solvents.

Butyric acid has two known isomers: n-butyric acid, CH3CH2CH2COOH (boiling point, 163°C; density, 0.958 g/cm3 at 20°C); and isobutyric acid (CH3)2CHCOOH (boiling point, 155°C; density, 0.949 g/cm3 at 20°C). The first can be obtained by the oxidation of n-butanol or by the fermentation of waste products containing starch; the second, by the oxidation of isobutanol. Derivatives of n -butyric acid, or glycerides, are components of animal fats (for example, butter). Butyric acid esters, which have a fruity or floral odor, are of practical significance: certain types are used as aromatic principles in the perfume and food industries, and others as masticators in the preparation of varnishes.

butyric acid

[byü′tir·ik ′as·əd]
(organic chemistry)
CH3CH2CH2COOH A colorless, combustible liquid with boiling point 163.5°C (757 mmHg); soluble in water, alcohol, and ether; used in synthesis of flavors, in pharmaceuticals, and in emulsifying agents.