|Other names||Valeric acid
|Molar mass||102.13 g/mol|
|Density||0.930 g/cm³, liquid|
|Solubility in water||4.97 g/100 ml (25 °C)|
|Flash point||86 °C|
|Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)|
Valeric acid, or pentanoic acid, is a straight-chain alkyl carboxylic acid with the chemical formula C5H10O2. 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. 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.
Valeric acid can cause irritation to humans if it comes into contact with the skin or eyes, but otherwise causes little harm because it tends not to vaporize at room temperature unless it is in its pure glacial form. It is, however, toxic to aquatic life and so should not be disposed of into drains without first diluting the acidic solution.
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