Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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acetic acid

A volatile, colorless acid (CH 3M COOH), prepared by the oxidation of acetaldehyde, by oxidation of ethyl alcohol, or by the distillation of wood. It is used extensively in the manufacture of CELLULOSE ACETATE , and has been used for washing leather bindings to remove grease prior to tooling. Being a relatively weak organic acid, as well as volatile, it is not considered to be particularly harmful to paper or leather, and is to be preferred to ordinary vinegar in preparing leather or book edges for tooling or gilding, as vinegar is likely to contain traces of sulfuric acid. (198 )

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