Lactic Acid Formula

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What is the Molecular Formula of Lactic Acid?

One of the most common acids found in our body and in different organic products is lactic acid. It is also the byproduct of anaerobic respiration due to the lack of oxygen in the cells. It is also used to make different kinds of food products such as curd, yoghurt, etc. This is why it is important to learn the lactic acid formula and its various other properties. It is an organic compound that contains a carboxyl group giving it the properties of an organic acid. Let us carry on and find out more about the chemical equation for lactic acid.

What is the Molecular Formula of Lactic Acid?

As mentioned earlier, lactic acid is one of the simple organic acids present in our body and in different food products. The molecular formula of lactic acid is CH3CH(OH)COOH. As you can see, the molecular formula indicates that it has a carboxyl group (-COOH) at the end. This group gives this compound the physical and chemical features of an organic acid.

It is also considered to be an alpha-hydroxy acid as it has a hydroxyl group attached to the alpha-carbon atom (the first carbon atom bonded to the carboxyl group). If you consider the chemical formula of lactic acid (C3H6O3), it is not easy to find out the functional group responsible to conclude the physical and chemical features of the compound. Hence the lactic acid formula in the molecular format should be learned.

What is the IUPAC Name of Lactic Acid?

As per the molecular formula of this compound, the IUPAC name of lactic acid is 2-hydroxypropanoic acid. The IUPAC name helps us to find out the molecular formula without any hassle. It is easy to conclude that the molecular formula contains three carbon atoms. As mentioned earlier, it is also called classified as an alpha-hydroxy acid as the second carbon atom is bonded with a hydroxyl group. The lactic acid chemical formula just mentions the total number of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms present in one molecule of lactic acid.

Properties of Lactic Acid

Now that we have learned what is the formula of lactic acid, proceed to the part where the properties of this organic acid will be described.

  • It is a yellow-coloured syrupy organic acid that remains liquid in an aqueous solution. When solidified, it is white.

  • The pH level of 1 mM is 3.51.

  • The molar mass of lactic acid is 90.08g/mol.

  • Lactic acid melts at 530°C. It boils at 1220°C.


Here is what you need to know about the lactic acid structural formula. You will find it easier to learn the lactic acid equation in the chemistry textbook after you are well-versed with the molecular formula of this organic acid.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. How Can You Learn the Chemical Equation of Lactic Acid?

Follow this section to find different types of formulas of lactic acid. This organic compound is acid as it contains a carboxyl group. Find out how the carbon atoms are linked to each other along with the hydroxyl group and a carboxyl group, you can easily focus on the chemical equation for lactic acid.

Q2. Why Should I Learn the Formula of Lactic Acid?

You can easily learn the formula of lactic acid here so that you can use it to form the lactic acid equation of different organic reactions taught in the chemistry textbook on your own.

Q3. Why is Lactic Acid Called an Organic Acid?

If you find what is the formula of lactic acid and its pH in an aqueous solution, you will easily find out why it is called an organic acid.