Succinic Acid: Uses, Structure, Hazards, Properties and preparation

Succinic Acid.

Succinic acid was first obtained as a result of the distillation of amber and hence its name (Latin,  Succinum = amber). It is also produced during the alcoholic fermentation of sugar.

Succinic acid preparation.
(1) Succinic acid is prepared from ethylene bromide by reacting with sodium cyanide and subsequent hydrolysis of ethylene cyanide.

Succinic acid preparation by ethylene bromide.


(2) It is obtained industrially by catalytic reduction of maleic acid.

Succinic acid preparation by maleic acid.
Succinic acid can also be synthesized with the help of Malonic Ester Synthesis.

Succinic acid properties.

Physical propertiesSuccinic acid forms white monoclinic prisms, mp 188°C. It is soluble in ethyl alcohol and ether, but moderately soluble in water,
Chemical properties. Succinic acid gives all the normal reactions of a dicarboxylic acid.

(1) The action of Heat. On heating to 300°C, it loses a molecule of water to form succinic anhydride.

Succinic acid action of heat.



(2) Reaction with Ammonia. With ammonia, it forms ammonium succinate which upon heating loses a molecule of ammonia to yield succinimide.

Succinic acid reaction with ammonia.
When succinimide is treated with an alkaline solution of Br2 at 0°C, it forms N-bromosuccinimide (NBS) which is a valuable reagent for allylic bromination.

(3) Electrolysis of Potassium Salt. The electrolysis of a strong solution of potassium succinate gives ethylene.

Succinic acid Electrolysis of Potassium Salt.

Succinic acid uses.

Succinic acid is used.
  1. In the manufacture of lacquers and dyes.
  2. in the volumetric analysis as a standard substance for acid-base titrations.

Succinic acid structure.

Succinic acid structure.

Chemical Names of Succinic acid. Butanedioic acid. Succinic acid. 1,4-Butanedioic acid.Succinic acid is a dicarboxylic acid.The Molecular Formula of Succinic acid is C4H6O4. The molar of Succinic acid.118.088 g.mol-1.

Succinic acid hazards.

Succinic acid can cause irritation of the skin, mucous, eyes membranes, and upper respiratory tract.

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