The reactions of trifluoroacetic acid are centered on its carboxyl group. The trifluromethyl group is of the most stable structures known, being inert towards practically all oxidizing, reducing, and hydrolyzing conditions. Although a strong organic acid, trifluoroacetic acid is considerably weaker than strong inorganic acids. The use of trifluoroacetic acid as an olefin hydration promoter permits the synthesis of alcohols from olefins which are polymerized, oxidized, or otherwise decomposed by sulfuric acid. A wide range of reactions are promoted by trifluroacetic acid including esterifications, condensations, and oxidations. Its advantages over the usual acid catalysts are smoother reaction and less decomposition. TFA also offers easy handling and recovery in these applications.