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An organic acid containing a carboxyl group.like ethanoic acid and formic acid.
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Carboxylic acids contain a -COOH group 

Carboxylic acids are compounds which contain a -COOH group. For the purposes of this page we shall just look at compounds where the -COOH group is attached either to a hydrogen atom or to an alkyl group. 

Occurrence and applications: 

Many carboxylic acids are produced industrially on a large scale. They are also pervasive in nature. Esters of fatty acids are the main components of lipids and polyamides of aminocarboxylic acids are the main components of proteins. 

Carboxylic acids are used in the production of polymers, pharmaceuticals, solvents, and food additives. Industrially important carboxylic acids include acetic acid (component of vinegar, precursor to solvents and coatings), acrylic and methacrylic acids (precursors to polymers, adhesives), adipic acid (polymers), citric acid (beverages), ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (chelating agent), fatty acids (coatings), maleic acid (polymers), propionic acid (food preservative), terephthalic acid (polymers). 

Salicylic acid: 

Salicylic acid is a monohydroxybenzoic acid, a type of phenolic acid and a beta hydroxy acid. This colorless crystalline organic acid is widely used in organic synthesis and functions as a plant hormone. It is derived from the metabolism of salicin. In addition to being an important active metabolite of aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid), which acts in part as a prodrug to salicyclic acid, it is probably best known for its use in anti-acne treatments. The salts and esters of salicylic acid are known as salicylates. 

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