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Propionic acid

Propionic acid
Propionic acid structure
Chemical Name:
Propionic acid
C3;Prozoin;Adofeed;Luprisol;Luprosil;MonoProp;Propcorn;Propkorn;acid c-3;C2H5COOH
Molecular Formula:
Formula Weight:
MOL File:

Propionic acid Properties

Melting point:
−24-−23 °C(lit.)
Boiling point:
141 °C(lit.)
0.993 g/mL at 25 °C(lit.)
vapor density 
2.55 (vs air)
vapor pressure 
2.4 mm Hg ( 20 °C)
refractive index 
n20/D 1.386(lit.)
Flash point:
125 °F
storage temp. 
organic solvents: soluble(lit.)
4.86(at 25℃)
≤10, APHA:
Specific Gravity
0.996 (20/4℃)
2.5 (100g/l, H2O, 20℃)
explosive limit
Water Solubility 
37 g/100 mL
JECFA Number
Exposure limits
TLV-TWA 10 ppm (~30 mg/m3) (ACGIH).
Stable. Incompatible with strong oxidizing agents. Flammable.
CAS DataBase Reference
79-09-4(CAS DataBase Reference)
NIST Chemistry Reference
Propanoic acid(79-09-4)
EPA Substance Registry System
Propanoic acid(79-09-4)
  • Risk and Safety Statements
  • Hazard and Precautionary Statements (GHS)
  • NFPA
Hazard Codes  C
Risk Statements  36/37/38-34-10
Safety Statements  26-36-45-23
RIDADR  UN 3463 8/PG 2
WGK Germany  1
RTECS  UE5950000
Autoignition Temperature 955 °F
HazardClass  8
PackingGroup  II
HS Code  29155010
Hazardous Substances Data 79-09-4(Hazardous Substances Data)
Toxicity LD50 orally in rats: 4.29 g/kg (Smyth)
Signal word: Danger
Hazard statements:
Code Hazard statements Hazard class Category Signal word Pictogram P-Codes
H226 Flammable liquid and vapour Flammable liquids Category 3 Warning
H314 Causes severe skin burns and eye damage Skin corrosion/irritation Category 1A, B, C Danger P260,P264, P280, P301+P330+ P331,P303+P361+P353, P363, P304+P340,P310, P321, P305+ P351+P338, P405,P501
H335 May cause respiratory irritation Specific target organ toxicity, single exposure;Respiratory tract irritation Category 3 Warning
Precautionary statements:
P210 Keep away from heat/sparks/open flames/hot surfaces. — No smoking.
P260 Do not breathe dust/fume/gas/mist/vapours/spray.
P280 Wear protective gloves/protective clothing/eye protection/face protection.
P303+P361+P353 IF ON SKIN (or hair): Remove/Take off Immediately all contaminated clothing. Rinse SKIN with water/shower.
P305+P351+P338 IF IN EYES: Rinse cautiously with water for several minutes. Remove contact lenses, if present and easy to do. Continuerinsing.
P370+P378 In case of fire: Use … for extinction.
P405 Store locked up.
P403+P235 Store in a well-ventilated place. Keep cool.

NFPA 704

Diamond Hazard Value Description
3 0
Health   3 Short exposure could cause serious temporary or moderate residual injury (e.g. liquid hydrogen, sulfuric acid, calcium hypochlorite, hexafluorosilicic acid)
Flammability   2 Must be moderately heated or exposed to relatively high ambient temperature before ignition can occur and multiple finely divided suspended solids that do not require heating before ignition can occur. Flash point between 37.8 and 93.3 °C (100 and 200 °F). (e.g. diesel fuel, sulfur)
Instability   0 Normally stable, even under fire exposure conditions, and is not reactive with water (e.g. helium,N2)

(NFPA, 2010)

Propionic acid price More Price(29)

Manufacturer Product number Product description CAS number Packaging Price Updated Buy
Sigma-Aldrich 402907 Propionic acid ACS reagent, ≥99.5% 79-09-4 100ml $38.4 2018-11-13 Buy
Sigma-Aldrich 1572208 Propionic acid United States Pharmacopeia (USP) Reference Standard 79-09-4 3x1.5ml $352.8 2018-11-13 Buy
TCI Chemical P0500 Propionic Acid >99.0%(GC)(T) 79-09-4 25mL $17 2018-11-22 Buy
TCI Chemical P0500 Propionic Acid >99.0%(GC)(T) 79-09-4 500mL $18 2018-11-22 Buy
Alfa Aesar L04210 Propionic acid, 99% 79-09-4 100g $19.6 2018-11-13 Buy

Propionic acid Chemical Properties,Uses,Production

Chemical Properties

Propionic acid, CH3CH2COOH, also known as propanoic acid and methylacetic acid, is a clear, colorless liquid that boils at 140°C (284 OF). It has a pungent odor and is soluble in water and alcohol. Propionic acid is used in nickel electroplating solutions,perfumes, artificial flavors, pharmaceuticals, and manufacturing propionates.

Chemical Properties

Propionic acid is a colorless liquid. Sharp, rancid odor. The Odor Threshold is 0.16 ppm.

Chemical Properties

Propionic acid occurs as a corrosive, oily liquid having a slightly pungent, disagreeable, rancid odor. It is flammable.


Propionic Acid is the acid source of the propionates. propionic acid in the liquid form has a strong odor and is corrosive, so it is used as the sodium, calcium, and potassium salts as a preservative. these yield the free acid in the ph range of the food in which they are used. it functions principally against mold. see calcium propionate; sodium propionate.


Used as esterifying agent.


Propionic acid is used in the productionof propionates used as mold inhibitors andpreservatives for grains and wood chips, inthe manufacture of fruit flavors and perfumebases, and as an esterifying agent.

Production Methods

Propionic acid can be obtained from wood pulp waste liquor by fermentation. It can also be prepared from ethylene, carbon monoxide and steam; from ethanol and carbon monoxide using boron trifluoride catalyst; from natural gas; or as a by-product in the pyrolysis of wood. Very pure propionic acid can be obtained from propionitrile. Propionic acid can be found in dairy products in small amounts.


A colorless liquid carboxylic acid.


ChEBI: A short-chain saturated fatty acid comprising ethane attached to the carbon of a carboxy group.

Biotechnological Production

Generally, propionic acid is produced via petrochemical routes. However, fermentative processes are interesting for food-grade production, although the price of biotechnologically produced propionic acid may be twice that of petrochemistry- based propionic acid. The microbial production of propionic acid is done with propionibacteria (e.g. Propionibacterim freudenreichii) . Several fermentation methods have been studied. For example, an extractive fermentation is suggested to avoid low productivity and yields caused by product inhibition . With this technique, a product concentration of 75 g.L-1 propionic acid, a yield of 0.66 g propionic acid per gram lactose, and a productivity of approximately 1 g.L-1.h-1 are reached .
Different substrates, such as glycerol , wheat flour , or mixtures of glycerol and glucose , have been analyzed to reduce costs. Also, techniques of cell immobilization show promising results . Fibrous-bed reactor systems show the highest product concentrations: up to 106 g.L-1 propionic acid and a yield of 0.56 g propionic acid per gram glycerol. In recent years, metabolic engineering has been used to improve the acid tolerance and to reduce byproduct formation . 104 H. Quitmann et al.
For example, the acetate kinase gene has been inactivated by mutation of Propionibacterium acidipropionici . Additionally, an adaptive evolution has been carried out. As result, the productivity was enhanced by approximately 50 %, up to 0.25 g.L-1.h-1 and a yield of 0.59 g propionic acid per gram glycerol, using immobilized cells adapted to high acid concentration.

General Description

A clear oily aqueous liquid with a pungent rancid odor. Burns skin and the vapors irritate mucous membranes. Corrosive to most metals and tissue. Density 8.3 lb / gal.

Air & Water Reactions

Dilution with water causes release of heat.

Reactivity Profile

Propionic acid reacts as an acid to neutralize bases in exothermic reactions. Burns when exposed to heat, flame or oxidizers. When heated to decomposition emits acrid smoke and irritating fumes [Lewis, 3rd ed., 1993, p. 1090].


Moderate fire risk. Strong eye, skin and upper respiratory tract irritant.

Health Hazard

May cause toxic effects if inhaled or ingested/swallowed. Contact with substance may cause severe burns to skin and eyes. Fire will produce irritating, corrosive and/or toxic gases. Vapors may cause dizziness or suffocation. Runoff from fire control or dilution water may cause pollution.

Health Hazard

Propionic acid is a toxic and corrosive liquid. Contact with the eyes can result ineye injury. Skin contact may cause burns.Acute exposures to its vapors can causeeye redness, mild to moderate skin burns,and mild coughing (ACGIH 1986). Ingestionof high amounts of this acid may producecorrosion of the mouth and gastrointestinaltract in humans. Other symptoms includevomiting, diarrhea, ulceration, and convulsions. Oral LD50 value in rats is about3500–4300 mg/kg. The LD50 value by skinabsorption in rabbits is 500 mg/kg..

Fire Hazard

Flammable/combustible material. May be ignited by heat, sparks or flames. Vapors may form explosive mixtures with air. Vapors may travel to source of ignition and flash back. Most vapors are heavier than air. They will spread along ground and collect in low or confined areas (sewers, basements, tanks). Vapor explosion hazard indoors, outdoors or in sewers. Runoff to sewer may create fire or explosion hazard. Containers may explode when heated. Many liquids are lighter than water.

Pharmaceutical Applications

Propionic acid is primarily used as an antioxidant and antimicrobial preservative in foods, and in oral and topical pharmaceutical applications. It is also used as an esterifying agent.

Clinical Use

Propionic acid is an antifungal agent that is nonirritatingand nontoxic. After application, it is present in perspiration in low concentration ( 0.01%). Salt forms with sodium,potassium, calcium, and ammonium are also fungicidal.Propionic acid is a clear, corrosive liquid with a characteristicodor. It is soluble in water and alcohol. Thesalts are usually used because they are nonvolatile andodorless.

Safety Profile

Poison by intraperitoneal route. Moderately toxic by ingestion, skin contact, and intravenous routes. A corrosive irritant to eyes, skin, and mucous membranes. Flammable liquid. Highly flammable when exposed to heat, flame, or oxidizers. To fight fire, use alcohol foam. When heated to decomposition it emits acrid smoke and irritating fumes.


Propionic acid is generally regarded as a nontoxic and nonirritant material when used in low levels as an excipient. Up to 1% may be used in food applications (up to 0.3% in flour and cheese products). Propionic acid is readily metabolized.
The pure form of propionic acid is corrosive and will cause burns to any area of contact. Both liquid and vapor forms are flammable. Concentrated propionic acid is harmful if swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin. See also Sodium Propionate.
(mouse, IV): 0.63 g/kg
(rabbit, skin): 0.5 g/kg
(rat, oral): 2.6 g/kg

Potential Exposure

Propionic acid is used in the manufac- ture of inorganic propionates and propionate esters which are used as mold inhibitors, electroplating additives; emul- sifying agents; flavors and perfumes. It is an intermediate in pesticide manufacture, pharmaceutic manufacture; and in the production of cellulose propionate plastics. Also used as grain preservative.

First aid

If this chemical gets into the eyes, remove any contact lenses at once and irrigate immediately for at least 15 minutes, occasionally lifting upper and lower lids. Seek medical attention immediately. If this chemical contacts the skin, remove contaminated clothing and wash immediately with soap and water. Seek medical attention immediately. If this chemical has been inhaled, remove from exposure, begin rescue breathing (using universal precautions, includ- ing resuscitation mask) if breathing has stopped and CPR if heart action has stopped. Transfer promptly to a medical facility. When this chemical has been swallowed, get medi- cal attention. If victim is conscious, administer water, or milk. Do not induce vomiting.


Although stable, propionic acid is flammable. It should be stored in an airtight container away from heat and flames.


UN1848 Propionic acid, Hazard class: 8; Labels: 8-Corrosive material. UN3463 Propionic acid, with not <90% acid by mass, Hazard Class 8; Labels: 8-Corrosive material, 3-Flammable liquid.

Purification Methods

Dry the acid with Na2SO4 or by fractional distillation, then redistil after refluxing with a few crystals of KMnO4. An alternative purification uses conversion to the ethyl ester, fractional distillation and hydrolysis. [Bradbury J Am Chem Soc 74 2709 1952.] Propionic acid can also be heated for 0.5hour with an amount of benzoic anhydride equivalent to the amount of water present (in the presence of CrO3 as catalyst), followed by fractional distillation. [Cham & Israel J Chem Soc 196 1960, Beilstein 2 IV 695.]


The substance is a medium strong acid. Incompatible with sulfuric acid, strong bases; ammonia, isocyanates, alkylene oxides; epichlorohydrin. Reacts with bases; strong oxidizers; and amines, causing fire and explo- sion hazard. Attacks many metals forming flammable/ explosive hydrogen gas.


Propionic acid is incompatible with alkalis, ammonia, amines, and halogens. It can be salted out of aqueous solutions by the addition of calcium chloride or other salts.

Waste Disposal

Incineration in admixture with flammable solvent.

Regulatory Status

GRAS listed. Accepted for use in Europe as a food additive. In Japan, propionic acid is restricted to use as a flavoring agent.

Propionic acid Preparation Products And Raw materials

Raw materials

Preparation Products

Propionic acid Suppliers

Global( 263)Suppliers
Supplier Tel Fax Email Country ProdList Advantage
Hefei TNJ Chemical Industry Co.,Ltd.
86-0551-65418684 18949823763
86-0551-65418684 China 1747 55
Mainchem Co., Ltd.
+86-0592-6210733 CHINA 32606 55
Xiamen AmoyChem Co., Ltd
+86 (0)592-605 1114 CHINA 6402 58
Hubei Jusheng Technology Co.,Ltd.
86-188-71490254 CHINA 20177 58
Haihang Industry Co.,Ltd
+86 531 8582 1093 CHINA 4696 58
(323) 306-3136
(626) 453-0409 United States 8416 58
career henan chemical co
+86-371-86658258 CHINA 19975 58
Shanghai Macklin Biochemical Co.,Ltd. 15221275939
021-51821727 China 15805 55
Shanghai Aladdin Bio-Chem Technology Co.,LTD 021-20337333/400-620-6333
021-50323701 China 25086 65
Shanghai Chen Yu Chemical Co., Ltd. 13012824065
021-60488310 China 107 58

View Lastest Price from Propionic acid manufacturers

Image Release date Product Price Min. Order Purity Supply Ability Manufacturer
2018-12-17 Propionic acid
US $1.00 / kg 1kg 99% 100KG career henan chemical co

Propionic acid Spectrum

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