oxalic acid


oxalic acid
a white, crystalline, water-soluble, poisonous acid, H2C2O4·2H2O, first discovered in the juice of the wood sorrel species of oxalis and obtained by reacting carbon monoxide with sodium hydroxide or certain carbohydrates with acids or alkalis: used chiefly for bleaching, as a cleanser, and as a laboratory reagent.
[1785-95]

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Colourless, crystalline, toxic carboxylic acid found in many plants, especially rhubarb, wood sorrel, and spinach.

Because it forms soluble chelates with iron, some of the iron in these plants is not available nutritionally. However, this property makes it useful for removing blood and rust stains, cleaning metals other than iron, and flushing car radiators. Oxalic acid and its salts (oxalates) are used in many chemical processes.

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also called  Ethanedioic Acid,  

      a colourless, crystalline, toxic organic compound belonging to the family of carboxylic acids. Oxalic acid is widely used as an acid rinse in laundries, where it is effective in removing rust and ink stains because it converts most insoluble iron compounds into a soluble complex ion. For the same reason, it is the chief constituent of many commercial preparations used for removing scale from automobile radiators.

      The formula of oxalic acid is (C2H2O4); its usual form is that of the crystalline hydrate, (COOH)2·2H2O. Known as a constituent of wood sorrel as early as the 17th century, oxalic acid was first prepared synthetically in 1776. It is manufactured by heating sodium formate in the presence of an alkali catalyst, by oxidizing carbohydrates with nitric acid, by heating sawdust with caustic alkalies, or by fermentation of sugar solutions in the presence of certain molds.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Oxalic acid — Oxalic acid …   Wikipedia

  • Oxalic acid — Oxalic Ox*al ic, a. [From {Oxalis}: cf. F. oxalique.] (Chem.) Pertaining to, derived from, or contained in, sorrel, or oxalis; specifically, designating an acid found in, and characteristic of, oxalis, and also certain plant of the Buckwheat… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • oxalic acid — [äk sal′ik] n. [Fr oxalique < L oxalis: see OXALIS] a colorless, poisonous, crystalline acid, (COOH) 2, found in oxalis and other plants or prepared synthetically and used in dyeing, bleaching, etc …   English World dictionary

  • oxalic acid — An acid, HOOC–COOH, found in many plants and vegetables, particularly in buckwheat (family Polygoniaceae) and Oxalis (family Oxalidaceae); used as a hemostatic in veterinary medicine, but toxic in elevated levels when ingested by humans; also… …   Medical dictionary

  • oxalic acid — an extremely poisonous acid, C2H2O4. It is a component of some bleaching powders and is found in many plants, including sorrel and the leaves of rhubarb. Oxalic acid is a powerful local irritant; when swallowed it produces burning sensations in… …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • oxalic acid — oksalo rūgštis statusas T sritis chemija formulė (HOOC)₂ atitikmenys: angl. oxalic acid rus. щавелевая кислота ryšiai: sinonimas – etano dirūgštis sinonimas – rūgštynių rūgštis …   Chemijos terminų aiškinamasis žodynas

  • oxalic acid — /ɒkˌsælɪk ˈæsəd/ (say ok.salik asuhd) noun a white, crystalline, dibasic acid, (COOH)2.2H2O, first discovered in the juice of a species of oxalis (wood sorrel), used in textile and dye manufacturing, in bleaching, etc. {oxalic, from French… …   Australian English dictionary

  • oxalic acid — noun A colourless, crystalline dicarboxylic acid, (COOH), found in rhubarb, spinach and other plants, often as crystals of the calcium salt. Syn: acid of sugar, ethandioic acid …   Wiktionary

  • oxalic acid — noun Etymology: French (acide) oxalique, from Latin oxalis Date: 1790 a poisonous strong acid (COOH)2 or H2C2O4 that occurs in various plants (as spinach) as oxalates and is used especially as a bleaching or cleaning agent and as a chemical… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • oxalic acid — [ɒk salɪk] noun Chemistry a poisonous crystalline organic acid, present in rhubarb leaves, wood sorrel, and other plants. Origin C18: from Fr. oxalique, via L. from Gk oxalis wood sorrel …   English new terms dictionary


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