What is sodium acetate

Sodium acetateAuxiliary materialsBuffers / Preservatives Sodium acetate is the sodium salt of acetic acid. It exists as a trihydrate and as colorless crystals, which are very easily soluble in water. Sodium acetate is used in combination with acetic acid as a buffer for the production of liquid drugs such as injection solutions. It also serves as a preservative.

synonymous: Sodium acetate trihydrate, Natrii acetas trihydricusPhEur, E 262, Sodium acetate, CH3COONa, NaOAc


Sodium acetate is contained as an excipient in pharmaceuticals, especially in liquid dosage forms such as injection solutions. It is also added to foods.

Note: Sodium diacetate, a mixture of sodium acetate and acetic acid, is also used as a food additive. A well-known example is toast, to which it is added as a preservative. It is also found in Salt and Vinegar potato chips.

Structure and properties

The pharmacopoeia defines sodium acetate trihydrate (C.2H3NaO2 · 3 H2O, Mr = 136.1 g / mol), which is present as colorless crystals with a slight odor of vinegar, which are very easily soluble in water. It is the monosodium salt and trihydrate of acetic acid. Sodium acetate can also be anhydrous, in the form of anhydrates.

The salt can be made, for example, with the acetic acid and sodium hydroxide or another base such as sodium hydrogen carbonate. Aqueous solutions have a slightly basic pH.

Manufacture with sodium hydroxide:

application areas

Sodium acetate is used, mostly in combination with acetic acid (glacial acetic acid), as a buffer and for pH adjustment for liquid dosage forms. Sodium acetate also serves as a preservative, buffer and acid regulator.

see also

Acetic acid, buffers, auxiliaries

  • Medicinal product information (CH)
  • European Pharmacopoeia PhEur
  • Specialist literature
  • Pharmaceutical Technology Textbooks
  • Safety data sheet

Conflicts of Interest: None / Independent. The author has no relationships with the manufacturers and is not involved in the sale of the products mentioned.

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This article was last changed on 5/12/2021.
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