Acetates, compounds of which acetic acid is one of the principal constituents. They are generally soluble in water and alcohol, and some of them are deliquescent; those that are least soluble are acetates of mercury, silver, molybdenum, and tungsten. There are three classes of salts, neutral, acid, and basic, all of them destroyed at a red heat or by sulphuric acid, which latter liberates acetic acid, easily recognized by its pungent odor. Heated with a mixture of sulphuric acid and alcohol, they give rise to acetic ether; with lime they furnish acetone, which has a peculiar characteristic odor; and distilled with caustic potash, they yield marsh gas. Their solutions yield a deep yellow color with ferric chloride (ses-quichloride of iron), not given by free acetic acid. There are numerous acetates, some largely used in medicine and others in the arts. Among the former may be mentioned the following: potassic acetate, employed as a diuretic; ammoniac acetate, used as a diaphoretic; plumbic acetate (sugar of lead), used as an astringent.

Of the acetates employed in the arts the most important are: acetates of alumina, manganese, iron, and zinc, largely used as mordants in calico printing; acetate of copper, verdigris, and a mixture of acetate and arsenite of copper called Schweinfurt green, employed in paints and for wall paper; acetate of lime, prepared as a crude material in the manufacture of acetic acid from the distillation of wood. Many modern chemists divide the acetates into two classes: 1. Metallic acetates, in which the basic hydrogen of the acetic acid is replaced by a metal or group; 2. Acetic ethers or organic acetates, in which the hydrogen is replaced by an alcoholic radical.