Carboxylates are ester and salt compounds that are grouped as having a carbon atom double bonded to an oxygen atom and single bonded to a hydroxyl group with formulas such as COOH−COOH of carboxylic acids such as acetic acid, which has a formula of CH2COOHCHX2COO. Carboxylic acids include acetic acid used during metabolism (and found in vinegar) and the proteins that naturally occur within the body as amino acids. These organic acids are the basis of many carboxylic acid derivatives as they react with alcohol, water, or other substances.
When carboxylates react with metals (as in metal soaps or metal organics) they are sold as a powdery solid, a solventless liquid, or in a variety of solutions. Metal carboxylate technology is used to reduce the drying time in industrial coatings. Here they are used as a curing agent for paints and printing inks. Carboxylic acids will have an odor that is strong and sour. While the Esters of carboxylic acids are pleasant smelling, and are often used in perfumes.