Mercaptoacetic Acid

25th October 2018

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An image showing Mercaptoacetic Acid in a 1 litre container

UK leading Specialists Supply Mercaptoacetic Acid

Buy mercaptoacetic acid from ReAgent Chemicals. We can supply this compound in 1 L containers, with discounts available for bulk buyers. This product comes with a 100% quality guarantee and it’s usually dispatched within 24 hours of purchase.

Unpleasant Odour

Mercaptoacetic acid, with the formula HSCH2COOH, can also be called thioglycolic acid or sulfanylacetic acid. Think of it as a methylene group (-CH2-) “sandwiched” between a thiol (also known as a mercaptan group, -SH) and a carboxylic acid (-COOH).

It’s a colourless liquid, with a strong unpleasant odour characteristic of sulphydryl groups. It’s miscible with many different solvents, including water, alcohol and ketones. Full safety measures are available online to download. Operators must wear protective clothing, as it may cause burns and may be toxic if inhaled.

Cosmetic Applications

This compound was originally synthesised in the 40s and it’s still in use today, mainly in the cosmetic industry. It was initially used in chemical depilation, especially in salt forms mixed with calcium (HSCH2COOCa) and sodium (HSCH2COONa).

Nowadays, mercaptoacetic acid is mainly used mixed with ammonium to form HSCH2CO2NH4, which has become known amongst hairdressers as “perm salt.”

When this solution is applied to hair, the ammonia renders the hair fibres permeable to the mercaptoacetic acid, which then breaks the disulphide bonds. The hair is then treated with hydrogen peroxide to make the “curls” permanent.

Other Applications

This chemical can be used for many other applications:

  • Leather processing
  • Acidity indicator
  • Detection of iron, silver, tin and molybdenum

Industry-Leading Customer Service

From us, you can always expect a friendly member of our customer service team to help you. To buy mercaptoacetic acid or any other product, simply contact us by email or phone and we’ll be glad to provide you with a quote or technical assistance.

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