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Pyroligneous acid: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pyroligneous acid, also called wood vinegar, is a dark liquid produced through the natural act of carbonization, which occurs when wood is heated in an airless container during charcoal production.


Chemical components

Its principal components are acetic acid and methanol. It was once used as a commercial source for acetic acid. In addition, the vinegar often contains 80-90% water along with some 200 organic compounds.

Medicinal uses

Recently, it has been promoted as a natural aid for various uses including detoxification, mild pain relief, and to sterilize and promote healing of minor wounds. These claims may be of questionable value.


During the United States Civil War, cooks in the Confederate States of America tried to make up for an increasing deficiency in salt by preserving meat and fish in pyroligneous acid, which was not very effective (Kurlansky 2002, p. 267-68).


Kurlansky, Mark (2002). Salt: A World History. Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-200161-9.  

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