formic acid


formic acid
Chem., Pharm.
a colorless, irritating, fuming, water-soluble liquid, CH2O2, originally obtained from ants and now manufactured synthetically, used in dyeing and tanning and in medicine chiefly as a counterirritant and astringent.
[1785-95]

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Simplest carboxylic acid, chemical formula HCOOH. It is secreted by some insects, especially red ants (its name comes from the Latin word for ant), in their bite or sting.

It has many industrial uses, in textile and leather manufacture, as an industrial solvent, and as an intermediate.

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also called  methanoic acid 

      the simplest of the carboxylic acids (carboxylic acid), used in processing textiles (textile) and leather. Formic acid was first isolated from certain ants (ant) and was named after the Latin formica, meaning “ant.” It is made by the action of sulfuric acid upon sodium formate, which is produced from carbon monoxide and sodium hydroxide.

      Formic acid is also prepared in the form of its esters (ester) by treatment of carbon monoxide with an alcohol such as methanol (methyl alcohol) in the presence of a catalyst.

      Formic acid is not a typical carboxylic acid; it is distinguished by its acid strength, its failure to form an anhydride, and its reactivity as a reducing agent—a property due to the −CHO group, which imparts some of the character of an aldehyde. The methyl and ethyl esters of formic acid are commercially produced. Concentrated sulfuric acid dehydrates formic acid to carbon monoxide.

      Pure formic acid is a colourless, fuming liquid with a pungent odour; it irritates the mucous membranes and blisters the skin. It freezes at 8.4 °C (47.1 °F) and boils at 100.7 °C (213.3 °F).

William H. Brown
 

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Formic acid — Formic acid …   Wikipedia

  • Formic acid — Formic For mic, a. [L. formica an ant: cf. F. formique.] (Chem.) Pertaining to, or derived from, ants; as, formic acid; in an extended sense, pertaining to, or derived from, formic acid; as, formic ether. [1913 Webster] {Amido formic acid},… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • formic acid — ► NOUN Chemistry ▪ an irritant acid present in the fluid emitted by some ants. ORIGIN formic from Latin formica ant …   English terms dictionary

  • formic acid — HCOOH; the smallest carboxylic acid; a strong caustic, used as an astringent and counterirritant. * * * formic acid n a colorless pungent fuming vesicant liquid acid CH2O2 found esp. in ants and in many plants and used chiefly in dyeing and… …   Medical dictionary

  • Formic acid — Strukturformel Allgemeines Name Ameisensäure Andere Namen Formylsäure Formalinsäure …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • formic acid — skruzdžių rūgštis statusas T sritis chemija formulė HCOOH atitikmenys: angl. formic acid rus. муравьиная кислота ryšiai: sinonimas – metano rūgštis …   Chemijos terminų aiškinamasis žodynas

  • formic acid — [ fɔ:mɪk] noun Chemistry an irritant volatile organic acid present in the fluid emitted by some ants; methanoic acid. [HCOOH.] Origin C18: formic from L. formica ant …   English new terms dictionary

  • formic acid — noun The simplest carboxylic acid, HCOOH, a colourless, corrosive liquid with a sharp odour; it is present in the stings of ants, bees and nettles, and is prepared industrially by the oxidation of …   Wiktionary

  • formic acid — n. a colourless irritant volatile acid (HCOOH) contained in the fluid emitted by some ants. Also called METHANOIC ACID. Derivatives: formate n. Etymology: L formica ant …   Useful english dictionary

  • formic acid — noun Etymology: irregular from Latin formica ant more at pismire Date: 1790 a colorless pungent fuming vesicant liquid acid CH2O2 found especially in ants and in many plants and used chiefly in dyeing and finishing textiles …   New Collegiate Dictionary


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