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butyric acid

butyric acid byo͞otĭr´ĭk [key] or butanoic acid byo͞otənō´ĭk [key], CH 3CH 2CH 2CO 2H, viscous, foul-smelling, liquid carboxylic acid m.p. about −5°C b.p. 163.5°C. It is miscible with water, ethanol, and ether. It is a low molecular weight fatty acid that is present in butter as an ester of glycerol the odor of rancid butter is due largely to the presence of free butyric acid. Butyric acid is used in the manufacture of plastics. Isobutyric acid, or 2-methylpropanoic acid, (CH 3) 2CHCO 2H, is a geometric isomer of the butyric acid described above it has different physical properties but similar chemical properties.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.