Organic acids

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Information @ a Glance

  • An organic acid is an organic compound with acidic properties.
  • The most common Organic acids are the carboxylic acids, whose acidity is associated with their carboxyl group –COOH.
  • Sulfonic acids, containing the group –SO2OH, are relatively stronger acids.
  • The relative stability of the conjugate base of the acid determines its acidity.
  • Other groups can also confer acidity, usually weakly: –OH, –SH, the enol group, and the phenol group.
  • In biological systems, organic compounds containing these groups are generally referred to as Organic acids.
  • Simple Organic acids like formic or acetic acids are used for oil and gas well stimulation treatments. These Organic acids are much less reactive with metals than are strong mineral acids like hydrochloric acid (HCl) or mixtures of HCl and hydrofluoric acid (HF).
  • For this reason, Organic acids are used at high temperatures or when long contact times between acid and pipe are needed.
  • The conjugate bases of Organic acids such as citrate and lactate are often used in biologically-compatible buffer solutions.
  • Organic acids are used in food preservation because of their effects on bacteria.
  • The key basic principle on the mode of action of Organic acids on bacteria is that non-dissociated (non-ionized) Organic acids can penetrate the bacteria cell wall and disrupt the normal physiology of certain types of bacteria that we call pH-sensitive, meaning that they cannot tolerate a wide internal and external pH gradient.
  • Organic acids have been used successfully in pig production for more than 25 years.

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