MCAT Organic Chemistry

Carboxylic Acids

MCAT Organic Chemistry > Carboxylic Acids


MCAT Carboxylic - Acid 3D Model

Carboxylic acids contain a carboxyl group and are characterized by the general formula R-COOH, where R is some monovalent group, such as hydrogen or a carbon chain. The alcohol group on this molecule is a source of an acidic hydrogen proton that can be donated in reaction, thus making carboxylic acids Brønsted-Lowry acids.

MCAT Carboxylic Acids - Carboxylic Acid


The IUPAC prefix for naming carboxylic acid compounds is “-oic acid”.

The following chart provides examples of these compounds with their IUPAC names.

Structural FormulaIUPAC NameCommon Name
HCOOHMethanoic acidFormic acid
CH3COOHEthanoic acidAcetic acid
Ar-COOHBenzoic acidBenzenecarboxylic acid
HOOC-COOOxalic acidDicarboxylic acid
HOOC-CH2-COOHMalonic acid---


See Carboxylic Acid Properties


See Carboxylic Acids Reactions

MCAT Organic Chemistry

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