CAS number: 598-82-3,
Molar mass: 90.08 g/mol
Lactic acid (IUPAC systematic name: 2-hydroxypropanoic acid), also known as milk acid, is a chemical compound that plays a role in several biochemical processes. It was first isolated in 1780 by a Swedish chemist, Carl Wilhelm Scheele, and is a carboxylic acid with a chemical formula of C3H6O3. It has a hydroxyl group adjacent to the carboxyl group, making it an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA). In solution, it can lose a proton from the acidic group, producing the lactate ion CH3CH(OH)COO?. It is miscible with water or ethanol, and is hygroscopic.
Lactic acid is chiral and has two optical isomers. One is known as L-(+)-lactic acid or (S)-lactic acid and the other, its mirror image, is D-(?)-lactic acid or (R)-lactic acid. L-(+)-Lactic acid is the biologically important isomer.
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