Pyruvic acid

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11.8 °C, 285 K, 53 °F

165 °C, 438 K, 329 °F

Pyruvic acid (CH3COCOOH) is an organic acid, a ketone, as well the simplest of the alpha-keto acids. The carboxylate (COOH) ion (anion) of pyruvic acid, CH3COCOO-, is known as pyruvate, and is a key intersection in several metabolic pathways. It can be made from glucose through glycolysis, supplies energy to living cells in the citric acid cycle (also known as the Krebs cycle), and can also be converted to carbohydrates via gluconeogenesis, to fatty acids or energy through acetyl-CoA, to the amino acid alanine and to ethanol.

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Chemistry

In 1834, Théophile-Jules Pelouze distilled both tartaric acid (L-tartaric acid) and racemic acid (a mix of D- and L-tartaric acid) and isolated pyrotartaric acid (methyl succinic acid[2]) and another acid which Jöns Jacob Berzelius characterized the following year and named pyruvic acid.[3] Pyruvic acid is a colorless liquid with a smell similar to that of acetic acid and is miscible with water. In the laboratory, pyruvic acid may be prepared by heating a mixture of tartaric acid and potassium hydrogen sulfate, by the oxidation of propylene glycol by a strong oxidizer (eg. potassium permanganate or bleach), or by the hydrolysis of acetyl cyanide, formed by reaction of acetyl chloride with potassium cyanide:

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