Propanoic Acid Formula

What is Propanoic Acid?

The propanoic acid formula can be defined as a saturated fatty acid. In this short-chain of saturated fatty acid, the main characteristic of this group is the presence of ethane molecule attached to the carboxy group, specifically to the carbon of the carboxy group.  It is generally found in a liquid state, the chemical compound has a pungent odour associated with it. Propanoic acid is more commonly referred to as propionic acid. The salts of the propanoic acid have commercial importance, the propanoic acid uses are seen in both industrial and biological operations.


Structural Formula of Propanoic Acid

The propanoic acid formula can be represented in two ways, the chemical formula of propanoic acid represents the number and type of atoms attached to it. The chemical formula also hints about the reaction in which the compound is involved. The propionic acid formula can be represented as C\[_{3}\]H\[_{6}\]O\[_{2}\]. Another alternative of representation of the formula of propanoic acid is as follows, CH\[_{3}\]CH\[_{2}\]COOH. The first way of representation of the propanoic acid formula is more commonly used. 


Propanoic Acid Structure

The propanoic acid structure can be defined using a simple representation of atoms and bonds involved between them. One of the way of representation propanoic acid structure or alternatively known as the propionic acid, the propanoic acid structural formula is as follows,

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Another representation used for the structural formula of propanoic acid is as follows, this representation is more widely used.

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This structural formula of propanoic acid shows the presence of the carboxylic acid group. The compound can be defined as ethane attached to the carbon of the carboxylic acid.


Preparation of Propanoic Acid

The production of propanoic acid can be done in different ways, propanoic acid is generally defined as naturally occurring acids. They are produced by the bacteria called Propionibacterium strains. This strain of the bacteria is used in the biotechnology field for the production of the acid at commercial levels. The production of propanoic active by Propionibacterium strains. Is not very feasible, thus it is not widely used for mass production of the acid.


Chemical Manufacture

The chemical manufacturing process is widely used for the commercial production of propanoic acid. There are two main pathways that are used for the production of propanoic acid. The first reaction involves hydrocarboxylation of ethylene. Hydrocarboxylation is a reaction that involves the addition of carbon monoxide to an organic compound. It uses nickel carbonyl as a catalyst. The chemical reaction involved in the production of propanoic acid can be represented as follows,

C\[_{2}\]H\[_{4}\] + CO\[_{2}\] + H\[_{2}\]O → C\[_{3}\]H\[_{6}\]O\[_{2}\]

Another method of the production of propanoic acid involves the aerobic oxidation of propionaldehyde. The salt of manganese and cobalt is used as a catalyst for the reaction the optimum temperature of the reaction is 45 to 50 degrees celsius.


Other Names of Propanoic Acid

The IUPAC name of the chemical compound is propanoic acid, they are more commonly known as propionic acid. Some of the other names of the acid are listed below.

  1. Carboxyethane

  2. Ethanecarboxylic acid

  3. Ethylformic acid

  4. Metacetonic acid

  5. Methylacetic acid


Chemical Properties of Propanoic Acid

The chemical properties of the compound are used to define the reaction and reaction pattern of a compound, the chemical property is defined on the basis of molecular weight, propanoic acid structure, propionic acid formula, complexity, hydrogen bond donor count, hydrogen bond acceptor count, etc. some of the chemical property of the compound is discussed below.

  1. The molecular weight of the compound  as per calculation is 74.079 g/mol.

  2. The propionic acid formula is represented as C\[_{3}\]H\[_{6}\]O\[_{2}\] another way of representing the formula of propanoic acid is CH\[_{3}\]CH\[_{2}\]COOH.

  3. The propanoic acid structure can be defined as monoclinic.

  4. Hydrogen bond donor count is 1.

  5. Hydrogen bond acceptor count is 2.

  6. The rotatable hydrogen bond count is 1.

  7. The complexity of the chemical compound is 40.2.


Physical Properties of Propanoic Acid

The physical properties of a compound include the melting point, boiling point, density, colour, odour, and appearance of the chemical compound. Some of these characteristics of the acid are listed below.

  1. The density of the compound is 0.98797 g/cm\[^{3}\].

  2. The boiling point of the chemical compound is 141.15 °C.

  3. The melting point of the compound is −20.5 °C.

  4. The solubility in water is 8.19 g/g  at −28.3 °C.

  5. They are generally colourless and oily in nature.

  6. They have a characteristic rancid smell similar to the cheese.


Propanoic Acid Uses

The salts of the propanoic acid are very much commercially important. The salts and esters are called propionates. They are also referred to as propanoates. The propanoic acid uses of are listed as follows:

  1. They are used as food additives.

  2. They are used as preservatives.

  3. They are used as animal feeds.

  4. They are produced as an intermediate in the process of polymer production.

  5. They are used in the pesticides and pharmaceutical industry.


Conclusion

Propanoic acid which is also known as propionic acid is a naturally occurring acid. It can be defined as a chemical group that has ethane attached to the carbon of the carboxylic acid group, the chemical formula of propanoic acid can be written as  C\[_{3}\]H\[_{6}\]O\[_{2}\]. The salt and ester of the compound are known as propionates, they have a wide range of applications. Some of the uses include being used in the food industry, pharma industry, polymer industry, and being used in cattle feed. Propanoic acid can be produced by both chemical and biological methods. The bacteria Propionibacterium is used for the production of the compound in biotechnology industries.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. List Some of the Names of Propanoic Acid.

Ans: Propanoic acid is the IUPAC name of the compound, some of the other more commonly used names includes, propionic acid, carboxyethane, ethanecarboxylic acid, ethylformic acid, metacentric acid and methylacetic acid.

Q2. What Is the Molecular Weight of Propanoic Acid

Ans: The molecular weight of propanoic acid is 74.079 g/mol, and the chemical formula of propanoic acid is  C3H6O2.

Q3. What is the Hydrogen Bond Donor Count of the Compound

Ans: The hydrogen bond donor count of propanoic acid is 1.