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Valeric acid[1]
Valeric acid
IUPAC name
Other names Valeric acid
Butane-1-carboxylic acid
CAS number 109-52-4
RTECS number YV6100000
Molecular formula C5H10O2
Molar mass 102.13 g/mol
Appearance Colorless liquid
Density 0.930 g/cm³, liquid
Melting point

-34.5 °C

Boiling point

186-187 °C

Solubility in water 4.97 g/100 ml (25 °C)
Acidity (pKa) 4.82
R-phrases R34 R52/53
S-phrases S26 S36 S45 S61
Flash point 86 °C
Related compounds
Related compounds Butyric acid
Ethyl valerate
Pentyl pentanoate
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Infobox references

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 has a similar structure to both GHB and the neurotransmitter GABA. It differs from valproic acid simply by lacking a 3-carbon side chain.


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.

See also


  1. ^ Merck Index, 12th Edition, 10042.

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