Acetic anhydride

Basic Info:

  • Chemical Synonym(s): Acetic acid, anhydride; acetyl acetate; Acetic acid anhydride;
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  • CAS Number: 108-24-7
  • Chemical Formula:


  • MSDS: Download


Boiling Point
140 °C
Melting Point
-73.1 °C
Flash Point
130 °F
Specific Gravity
3 (10g/l, H2O, 20°C)
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Acetic anhydride is also known as ethanoic anhydride, acetic acid anhydride, acetyl dehydrogen. It is a colorless liquid with a characteristic pungent odor. It has the smell of acetic acid.

Despite its name, it is not the anhydride of acetic acid but its acetyl derivative. It is a weak acid and a solid dehydrating agent. I

t is highly flammable and toxic. It is produced during the oxidation of acetaldehyde by air. It reacts with water to produce acetic acid and hydrogen.

It is also the chemical product that is created by distilling ethanol and acetic acid. It's a pungent odor and strong solvent properties. During the production process, it will react with air, heat, and light, making its chemical properties change or worsen.


Acetic anhydride is used for various purposes, including the production of cellulose acetate and cellulose nitrate, which are used in textiles and photographic film.

The product can also be used as an additive for drugs like aspirin. It can use it to produce aspirin, nylon, Vitamin C, salt substitute, acetaminophen, acetylsalicylic acid, lysergic acid etc.

It is used as a building block to prepare many other derivatives used as pharmaceutical drugs or agricultural chemicals. Acetic anhydride, along with acetic acid, reacts with ammonia to produce trimethylamine, which can produce methylamine.

It is also an excellent solvent for many cellulose derivatives and acetic acid. Often used as a monomer for acrylic and vinyl acetate monomers and in polyimide and polyimide precursor synthesis, and resin and hardener production.

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