Acetic acid is used both in the production of plastics and in the manufacture of cosmetic products. It is also a preservative and is increasingly used for de-icing airport runways.
Acetic acid is a colourless chemical product sold in large quantities. Its source is primarily petrochemical, with a small proportion of the production of acetic acid coming from renewable raw materials such as timber. There are also production processes in which the precursors of acetic acid are coal-based. Acetic acid can also be obtained as a co-product in the manufacture of Polyvinyl Alcohol.
Examples of applications
The main applications are in the production of Vinyl Acetate Monomer, Ethyl Acetate, Butyl Acetate, Terephthalic Acid and Monochloroacetic Acid. The majority of Acetic Acid producers worldwide are involved in the subsequent product refinement stages. As a raw material, Acetic Acid is used in the production of plastics such as PET, or even in cigarette filters, adhesives, cosmetics, perfumes and plastic film. Yet another field of application is in the food industry, thanks to the fact that the product’s acidity has a preservative effect. An additional application generating great demand: Acetic Acid is increasingly used as a de-icing agent for airport runways. The product is also highly suitable for use as a solvent for organic and inorganic compounds, and it therefore finds application as a reactant.