Carboxylic acid

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In chemistry, especially in organic chemistry and biochemistry, carboxylic acid refers to a specific functional group of the form

   R  (where R is a hydrogen or organic group)

or any molecule containing such a functional group.

As the name implies, they are acids and react with bases to form carboxylate salts, in which the hydrogen of the -OH group is replaced with a metal ion. Thus, acetic acid (vinegar) reacts with sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to form sodium acetate, carbon dioxide, and water:

CH3COOH + NaHCO3 -> CH3COONa + CO2 + H2O

Some carboxylic acids include

HCOOH   formic acid (found in insect stings, formic refers to ants)
CH3COOH   acetic acid  (found in vinegar)

CH3CH2COOH  propanoic acid

C6H5COOH   benzoic acid (sodium benzoate, the sodium salt of benzoic acid is used as a food preservative)