Glacial Acetic acid is a water free acetic acid or anhydrous acetic acid. It has a characteristic sour taste and pungent smell. When chilled, the solution forms ice like crystals of acetic acid. Glacial acetic acid is available from industrial suppliers, but few sell to the public. The acidity level of Glacial acetic acid is very high compared to Acetic Acid. It is very corrosive and harmful for skin.
This is one of the most widely used method for the production of acetic acid. In this process, methanol and carbon monoxide are the staring materials. A catalyst is required for the carbonylation process such as iodine, rhodium and iridium. The methanol reacts with iodine catalyst to form iodomethane which produces acetic acid with carbon monoxide.
CH3OH + HI --> CH3I + H2O
CH3I + CO --> CH3COI
CH3COI + H2O --> CH3COOH + HI
Acetic acid is also produced from acetaldehyde, which is produced by the oxidation of butane or hydration of ethane. In the presence of various metal catalysts, acetaldehyde oxidises to acetic acid.
2C4H10 + 5O2 --> 4CH3COOH + 2H2O
2 CO2 + 4 H2 → CH3COOH + 2 H2O