Why Is Benzoic Acid Poorly Soluble In Cold Water? | WorldOfChemicals

Why Is Benzoic Acid Poorly Soluble In Cold Water?

Benzoic Acid

Benzoic Acid belongs to a class of simple aromatic carboxylic acid. This name is adopted from gum benzoin [The benzoin term in gum benzoin refers to, a tree which is native to the tropical reaches of South-eastern Asia, China, and Indonesia]. Benzoic Acid and its esters occur in apricots, cranberries, mushrooms and jasmine plants.

In animal species, benzoic acid is present as part of hippuric acid- in urine of mammals (Hippuric Acid: G.hippos = horse; ouron = urine).

The history of benzoic acid dates back to the sixteenth century. In the year 1875 Salkowski a prominent scientist discovered its antifungal abilities.

Reasons for Poor Solubility in Cold Water

The primary reason benzoic acid dissolves only slightly or poorly in cold water is that, because of a polar carboxylic group, the bulk amount of the benzoic acid molecule is non-polar. It is only the carboxylic group that is polar. In addition, there are no internal stabilizing structures that favor carboxylate group, -COO (-), over carboxylic acid, -COOH group.

Now let us know about how benzoic acid is manufactured and its applications

Manufacturing Process:

Benzoic acid can be attained commercially by partial oxidation of toluene solvent with the help of oxygen. This process is catalyzed by cobalt or manganese naphthenates catalysts.

In the laboratory process benzoic acid is either added directly or created from reactions with its sodium, potassium, or calcium salt.

Approximately 139,000 tons of benzoic acid is synthesized synthetically each year for use in a large variety of industries. Benzoic acid can be prepared by oxidation process of benzyl chloride in the presence of alkaline potassium permanganate:

C6H5CH2Cl + 2 KOH + 2 [O] → C6H5COOH + KCl + H2O


Benzoic acid is mainly dissipated in the production of phenol. Benzoic acid and its salts are mainly used as food preservatives.

Benzoic acid inhibits the growth of mold, yeast and some bacteria. It is also a constituent of Whitfield's ointment which is used for the treatment of fungal skin diseases like tinea, ringworm, and athlete's foot. Benzoic acid was used as an expectorant, analgesic, and antiseptic in the early 20th century.

Benzoic acid is present as one of the major ingredient that is common in many types of skin care products. It often suffers from mistaken identity with the name of benzoyl peroxide substance which is a very similar name to it. Benzoyl Peroxide is a medicinal ingredient often used in the treatment of acne skin disease.

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