Valeric acid, or pentanoic acid, is a straight-chain alkyl carboxylic acid with the chemical formula CH
3COOH. Like other low-molecular-weight carboxylic acids, it has a very unpleasant odor. It is found naturally in the perennial flowering plant valerian (Valeriana officinalis), from which it gets its name. Its primary use is in the synthesis of its esters. Salts and esters of valeric acid are known as valerates or pentanoates. Volatile esters of valeric acid tend to have pleasant odors and are used in perfumes and cosmetics. Ethyl valerate and pentyl valerate are used as food additives because of their fruity flavors.
3D model (JSmol)
CompTox Dashboard (EPA)
|Molar mass||102.133 g·mol−1|
|Melting point||−34.5 °C (−30.1 °F; 238.7 K)|
|Boiling point||186 to 187 °C (367 to 369 °F; 459 to 460 K)|
|4.97 g/100 mL|
|R-phrases (outdated)||R34 R52/53|
|S-phrases (outdated)||S26 S36 S45 S61|
|NFPA 704 (fire diamond)|
|Flash point||86 °C (187 °F; 359 K)|
|Butyric acid, Hexanoic acid|
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Valeric acid appears similar in structure to GHB and the neurotransmitter GABA in that it is a short-chain carboxylic acid, although it lacks the alcohol and amine functional groups that contribute to the biological activities of GHB and GABA, respectively. It differs from valproic acid simply by lacking a 3-carbon side-chain. Mevalonic acid is derived from valeric acid by methylation and hydroxylation.
Valeric acid can cause irritation if it comes into contact with the skin, eyes, or mucous membranes.
|Look up valeric acid in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- Merck Index, 12th Edition, 10042.