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Sodium Acetate Formula – Structure, Properties, Uses, Sample Questions

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  • Last Updated : 31 May, 2022
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Sodium, along with lithium and potassium, is an alkali metal. Its main claim to fame is that it is one of the two ingredients in table salt. When sodium binds with chlorine, we get sodium chloride (NaCl). It is also used as a fertilizer salt. Sodium is the most significant alkaline metal in terms of commercial value since it is a reactive, soft metal with a low melting point. Sodium hydroxide is formed when sodium reacts rapidly with water, snow, and ice. 

Sodium Acetate Formula

Sodium acetate is a chemical compound that consists of one sodium (Na) atom, two oxygen (O) atoms, two carbon (C) atoms, and three hydrogen (H) atoms. It is a sodium salt of acetic acid, sodium acetate anhydrous (i.e., lacking hydration water), or sodium ethanoate. It is hygroscopic and easily soluble in water and alcohol. It is normally odorless, but when heated until breakdown occurs, it smells like vinegar or acetic acid.  An ester can be formed by combining sodium acetate with an alkyl halide such as bromoethane. 

The chemical Formula of sodium acetate is CH3COONa  

Structure of Sodium Acetate 

Sodium acetate 

Physical properties of Sodium acetate 

Sodium Acetate CH3COONa
Molecular Weight/ Molar Mass 82.03 g/mol
Density 1.528 g/cm3
Boiling Point 881.4°C
Melting Point 324°C

Chemical Properties of Sodium Acetate 

  • When sodium acetate is severely heated with soda lime, which is a combination of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and calcium oxide (CaO) in a 3:1 mass ratio, methane is generated as a result.


  • An ester can be formed by combining sodium acetate with an alkyl halide such as bromoethane. 


Preparations of Sodium Acetate 

The reaction of vinegar (5-8 percent acetic acid) with sodium carbonate produces sodium acetate (NaHCO3). Carbonic acid is generated in this reaction, which is then decomposed by heating to produce carbon dioxide and water.


H2CO3 → CO2 + H2O

Sodium acetate is produced industrially by reacting acetic acid with sodium hydroxide in an aqueous solution.


Uses of Sodium Acetate 

  1. It is utilized as a source of sodium ions in solutions in dialysis.
  2. It is used in the textile sector when an aniline dye is being used.
  3. In chrome tanning, it is utilized as a pickling agent.
  4. It functions as a sealant for concrete.
  5. It can be used as a flavor in foods.
  6. It can be used in conjunction with acetic acid as a buffer to keep a relatively constant pH.
  7. Heating pads, heated ice, and hand warmers contain it.
  8. It is used to remove static charge buildup. 

Sample Questions 

Question 1: Is sodium acetate water soluble?


Yes, sodium acetate dissolves efficiently in water. As the temperature rises, so does the solubility of this chemical in water. 

For example: Anhydrous sodium acetate, has a solubility in water of 1190 grammes per litre at 0 degrees Celsius. When the temperature is raised to 100° Celsius, however, the solubility of this chemical in water rises to 1629 grammes per litre (in its anhydrous form). The trihydrate of this compound is not as soluble in water, with a solubility of 464 grammes per litre at 20° Celsius. 

Question 2: How is sodium acetate made?


The reaction of acetic acid (usually used in the form of vinegar) and sodium carbonate can produce sodium acetate (usually used in the form of washing soda). In this reaction, sodium bicarbonate (commonly known as baking soda) or sodium hydroxide (also known as caustic soda) can be used instead of sodium carbonate. This compound is synthesised industrially by reacting acetic acid with sodium hydroxide in the presence of water (which functions as a solvent). 

Question 3: Is sodium acetate a potent base?


Sodium acetate (CH3COONa) is a solid-state salt that cannot be utilised as an acid or base in anhydrous or liquid form. The resultant solution is fundamental in nature, as NaOH is a strong base and CH3COOH is a weak acid. As a result, sodium acetate is required in an aqueous medium. 

Question 4: What causes sodium acetate to generate heat?


When heated over 58 degrees Celsius, solid sodium acetate trihydrate loses its hydration capacity and begins to dissolve in the resulting steam. The heat of sodium acetate trihydrate solution is 19.7 kJ / mole (an endothermal process). The crystallisation is exothermic. 

Question 5: What exactly is sodium acetate buffer?


In molecular biology, sodium acetate is a commonly used reagent. It is used as a buffer in the buffering range of pH 3.6 – 5.6 in conjunction with acetic acid. In the purification and precipitation of the nucleic acids,sodium acetate is used.

Question 6: What happens when you mix sodium acetate with water?


Hydrolysis occurs when sodium acetate is dissolved in water. Salt hydrolysis happens when a salt of a weak acid or weak base (or both) is dissolved in water. Water ionises on its own to form hydroxide anions and hydrogen cations. Sodium acetate dissolves in water and divides into sodium and acetate ions. 

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