Glutaric Acid – Properties, Preparation And Uses

Acids are chemical substances that taste sour in a water solution and can change blue litmus paper to red. Acids also react with some metals to produce hydrogen. They also react with bases to produce salts. Acids are classified into two major categories and they are;

Strong Acids

Weak Acids

Strong Acids

These acids are types of acids that are characterized by their strong acidic properties and they do not dissociate completely in a reaction. Examples of strong acids are hydrochloric acid, hydrobromic acid, sulfuric acid etc.

Weak Acids

These Acids are acids that are characterized by their weak acidic properties and their ability to dissociate completely during a reaction. Examples of weak Acids are formic acid, acetic acid, benzoic acid, oxalic acid, nitrous acid etc.

What is Glutaric Acid?

Glutaric acid is an organic compound that has five simple carbon linear dicarboxylic acids. It is produced by the body during metabolism of some amino acids e.g tryptophan and lysine.

Glutaric acid can also be called;

Propane-1,3-dicarboxylic acid

1,3-Propanedicarboxylic acid

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Pentanedioic acid and

n-Pyrotartaric acid.

It can be found in different food sources some of which are red beetroot, common beet, soybean, and tamarind.

Uses of Glutaric Acid

Glutaric acid which is also known as the pentanedioic acid has a wide range of applications which includes the production of polyamides, polyurethanes, glutaric anhydride, 1,5-pentanediol, and 5-hydroxyvaleric acid, which are used in the production of consumer goods, textile, and footwear.

Structure of Glutaric Acid

The chemical formula of glutaric acid is C3H6(COOH)2. It is an alpha, omega-dicarboxylic acid having linear five-carbon dicarboxylic acid.

Properties of Glutaric Acid

Physical Properties

It is a colorless and odorless compound.

Its appearance is as colourless crystals or white solid.

It has a melting point of 97 – 98°C.

It has a boiling point of 303°C.

In water, it has a solubility of 5 mg/mL, it is clear to slightly hazy, colourless to faintly yellow

It is soluble in alcohol.

It is soluble in chloroform.

It has a density of 1.4 g/cm3.

Chemical Properties

It has a chemical formula of C5H8O4.

It has a molecular weight of 132.11g/mol.

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It has a formal charge of 0.

Production of Glutaric Acid

There are various means of producing glutaric acid and they are:

Ring-opening of butyrolactone with potassium cyanide to produce mixed potassium carboxylate-nitrile that is hydrolyzed to the diacid is one of the methods of producing glutaric acid.

Another means of producing this type of acid is by using hydrolysis followed by oxidation of dihydropyran which gives glutaric acid.

This acid can also be prepared from the reaction of 1,3-dibromopropane with sodium or potassium cyanide to obtain the dinitrile after which hydrolysis takes place.

Differences Between Glutaric Acid and Glutamic Acid

Glutamic acid is an amino acid that is used in the formation of proteins. In the body, glutamic acid is converted to glutamate.

Glutaric acid being the dicarboxylate analog of glutamic acid which lacks an α-amino moiety, while the α-aminoadipic acid is the next higher homolog of glutamic acid.

Hazards Caused By Glutaric Acid

It can cause irritation to the eyes.

They cause irritation to the skin.

They can cause irritation to the respiratory tract because when they are heated to decomposition they emit acrid smoke and toxic fumes of carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide, and irritating fumes which cause throat irritation. These hazards occur after ingestion, inhalation or skin absorption of the content of the said acid.

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Safety Measures To Take When Handling Glutaric Acid

The safety measures to be taken when handling this types of acids are:

Handle the acid in accordance with good industrial hygiene and safety practice.

Make use of face masks.

Make use of goggles and gloves when you’re handling this acid.

There should be no open flames near the acid.

It is important to wear a half face respirator which has been equipped with an organic vapour in order to avoid inhalation of particles of the acid.

Keep the acid in suitable, closed containers for disposal.

Avoid the contact of this acid with the skin and eyes.

Do not eat, drink or smoke when using this acid.

Get emergency medical help immediately if you notice any contact with the skin or eyes.