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I've taken only a couple university chemistry courses. In the lab, when we always used acetic acid in powdered form, it struck me how when buying vinegar in a bottle from the store, you must be paying mostly only to transport water. Wouldn't it be more economic to simply mix acetic acid solutions for yourself? Would any of you use acetic acid to make vinegar at home? Are there any dangers or drawbacks?

Edit: Thanks for the informative responses! It seems my memory was mistaken. We clearly must not have been using acetic acid in powdered form.

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    $\begingroup$ To turn it into powder means removing all the water, which is energy intensive and expensive. $\endgroup$ – Jon Custer Feb 25 '18 at 21:36
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    $\begingroup$ Acetic acid is liquid at rt so I don't understand what the powder woukd be that you used $\endgroup$ – Waylander Feb 25 '18 at 21:48
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    $\begingroup$ Perhaps glacial acetic acid. How could OP use it and not know it's dangerous, is another question... $\endgroup$ – Mithoron Feb 25 '18 at 21:58
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    $\begingroup$ But glacial acetic acid isn’t a powder either :/ $\endgroup$ – orthocresol Feb 25 '18 at 23:09
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    $\begingroup$ Glacial acetic acid is a significant contact hazard for skin. $\endgroup$ – MaxW Feb 26 '18 at 3:42
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Vey concentrated (glacial) acetic acid is a corrosive acid that can severely damage your skin and airways. Acetic acid does come in solid form but has a melting point of 16 to 17degC. Diluting it can be dangerous if not done properly due to dilution of acid releasing a lot of heat. It can spit acid all over you. In all honestly it's just easier buying it as 5% acetic acid (What you get from shops) rather than go through all the dangerous effort to try and dilute pure solid acetic acid.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. It seems my memory was mistaken. We must not have been using acetic acid in a powder. Very good response! $\endgroup$ – sweaty Feb 27 '18 at 5:28
  • $\begingroup$ As someone who was in a lab when a student used a vacuum pump to pull lots of glacial acetic acid into the air...ouch. "Airway damage" hurts like hell the whole time it's going on, and the stuff is not much nicer to your eyes. $\endgroup$ – chipbuster Feb 27 '18 at 6:03
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    $\begingroup$ That sounds really bad @chipbuster . I've had to work with glacial acetic acid and it's not very pleasant $\endgroup$ – David Wyn Williams Mar 8 '18 at 16:36

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