Acetic acid in everyday life
Things you should know about vinegar
Acetic acid with the formula CH₃COOH is a weak carbonic acid which has been known to humanity since ancient times, and was obtained through the method of fermenting wine.
The first mention of acetic acid is encountered in sources dating back three centuries BCE. Nowadays, vinegar is widely used in everyday life, especially in the kitchen, so cooking enthusiasts will be interested to find out how to make acetic acid and obtain the required solution. This article will tell you how to achieve the required concentration, and you will also learn about different types of this substance, and how they are used.
Let’s take a look at what this substance is used for in cooking
With a vinegar base can be added to salads. Vinegar is used for marinating fish and meat and for preserving products.
Vinegar in the household
It is also used to remove stains on dishes and clothing, to disinfect items: surfaces are rubbed down with vinegar, and to soften clothing during washing.
These are not all the spheres where acetic acid is used, for example the acid can be used to treat muscle ailments etc.
How to obtain vinegar in industry
There are two methods of obtaining acetic acid: chemical and microbiological. The first method involves the wood distillation, and the second the fermentation of liquids containing alcohol. In these liquids, the special bacteria Acetobacter aceti actively develop, which take place in the process of making acetic acid and give an original taste and aroma.
There are different types of vinegar, but the most popular are:
table or synthetic vinegar;
apple vinegar obtained from the fermentation of apples.
Making table vinegar
We often want to know how to dilute vinegar essence with water, in order to obtain a certain solution that is suitable for use. Vinegar essence is a highly concentrated solution of acetic acid with a concentration of 70-80%, while ordinary vinegar has an acid concentration of 3 to 15%. You can make ordinary vinegar from vinegar essence in the home, but you need to observe one rule: keep safe!
For the experiment, you will need:
70% vinegar essence;
a glass vessel;
cold boiled water;
also use gloves while making the solution.
When there’s only essence in the home, but a 9% vinegar solution is required, this presents an impossible problem for cooks. But making a low-concentration solution at home is quite simple: even a person who is inexperienced in chemistry may achieve the required result.
To make a weak 3% solution, you will need 20 tablespoons of water per one tablespoon of essence. A 6% solution can be obtained as follows: per one tablespoon of essence, add 11 tablespoons of water.
For a 9% solution, use 7 tablespoons. By adding a lot of water to a small amount of vinegar, you will get a weak concentrate.
Why you should be careful when working with vinegar
Vinegar is an organic acid and as we know when this substance touches the skin, you may get a mild chemical burn, especially if you’re working with an essence. But sometimes skin layers are so badly injured that urgent medical attention is required. So you shouldn’t keep a bottle of acetic acid where small children can reach it: kids are always curious. In diluting the essence, we recommend that you wear gloves, and that the room is well aired.
If undiluted vinegar does get on your skin, then water with soda or a soap solution may help. If the burn is severe, call a doctor.
When vinegar gets on to the mucous membrane, it causes a burn. So in this case you must rinse the mucous membrane and eyes with cold water, and if the condition is critical, immediately call a doctor. You should also call a doctor if you suffer food poisoning from vinegar.
An interesting experiment with vinegar
You can show this experiment to children, they’ll love the effect: a chicken egg turns rubbery!
You will need:
a raw chicken egg;
and of course patience!
You can do this trick at home, but make sure that the child conducts the experiment with an adult present! Put the egg in the glass and cover it with vinegar. You can see little bubbles of gas forming on the eggshell immediately. This reaction takes place because of the vinegar dissolves the calcium that the eggshell is made of. Leave the egg in the vinegar for 24 hours. Then remove the egg with a spoon and place it on a plate, and rinse it with cold water. But you can get the result 10x times faster! Click here to find out how.
The vinegar has dissolved the eggshell, but not the protective film. So the egg has preserved its form and turned rubbery. Inside it remains liquid.