C2H4O2 = 60.032.
Glacial acetic acid may be obtained by the distillation of dried sodium or calcium acetate with strong sulphuric acid. It should contain 99 per cent. by weight of real acid, CH3COOH. The acid is also official in the U.S.P. It occurs as a clear colourless liquid, or colourless, crystalline mass, with a strong pungent odour. It is crystalline at low temperatures, and the crystals melt again at about 14.8°. A variety of glacial acetic acid is in commerce, melting at 10°. The official melting-point for glacial acetic acid (15.5°) corresponds to a stronger acid than 99 per cent. Specific gravity, 1.058 (about 1.049 at 25°), increased by the addition of 10 per cent. of water. Boiling-point not less than 117°.
Action and Uses.—Glacial acetic acid is a rubefacient, vesicant, or caustic, according to the length of time it is in contact with the skin. Its use requires caution, owing to its tendency to spread. It is chiefly employed as a mild caustic for destroying warts, corns, etc. When inhaled by the nostrils, glacial acetic acid induces a reflex stimulation of the medullary centres. It is therefore employed in this manner as a restorative and stimulant in cases of fainting. In cases of poisoning by glacial acetic acid large draughts of water containing soap, washing soda, magnesia, or chalk, and oil, or gruel should be given.
- Acidum Aceticum Aromaticum, B.P.C.—AROMATIC ACETIC ACID. Syn.—Aromatic Vinegar.
- Glacial acetic acid, with odorants. Employed as a restorative by inhaling from a small saturated sponge contained in a vinaigrette. It should be distinguished from toilet vinegar (see Acetum Odoratum).
The British Pharmaceutical Codex, 1911, was published by direction of the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.