Acetic acid is a commodity chemical with the global demand of approximately 15 million tons per year with several applications in the chemical and food industry. The production of acetic acid can be widely categorized into chemical and fermentative routes, with the chemical route being the predominant one in the current industrial practice. In this chapter, we have reviewed the most recent developments in acetic acid production and applications over past two decades, including process intensification and catalysis by keeping the main emphasis on process sustainability. Acetic acid is used in several industrial sectors such as chemical, pharmaceutical, textile, polymer and paints, food and beverages. Furthermore, acetic acid has several applications in food industry and is traditionally known as vinegar. In addition, it is an acidulant, which is used to give a characteristic flavor profile to food. It can be used for microbial decontamination of meat and as a mild descaling agent in the food industry. More recently, acetic acid is reported to be used as an antimicrobial edible food coating agent. The diversified food culture has a significant demand in the development of such kind of innovation and acetic acid can be an efficient solution.
Part of the book: Biotechnological Applications of Biomass