A combustible, colorless liquid, (CH3CO)2O, that decomposes in water to form acetic acid: used in plastics and organic synthesis.

Acetic anhydride, having an odor similar to that of pickles, is also used as a precursor chemical in the production of heroin. It is cooked with morphine and used to convert morphine into a heroin base (diacetylmorphine).

Acetic anhydride is also used to synthesize aspirin, and other chemicals used in photography and leather tanning.

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