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organic acid

Thursday 31 July 2008

Definition: 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 OSO3H, 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, enol group, and the phenol group. In biological systems organic compounds containing only these groups are not generally referred to as organic acids.

(NB: An organic compound is any member of a large class of chemical compounds whose molecules contain carbon. For historical reasons discussed below, a few types of compounds such as carbonates, simple oxides of carbon and cyanides, as well as the allotropes of carbon, are considered inorganic.)

Examples

- acetic acid
- formic acid
- citric acid
- oxalic acid

Pathology

- inherited organic acid disorders (organic acidurias or organic acidemias)