Formic acid

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Formic acid
Formylic acid
Hydrogen carboxylic acid
Hydroxymethanone
Hydroxy(oxo)methane
Metacarbonoic acid
Oxocarbinic acid

8.4 °C, 282 K, 47 °F

100.8 °C, 374 K, 213 °F

Formic acid (also called methanoic acid) is the simplest carboxylic acid. Its chemical formula is HCOOH or HCO2H. It is an important intermediate in chemical synthesis and occurs naturally, most notably in the venom of bee and ant stings. In fact, its name comes from the Latin word for ant, formica, referring to its early isolation by the distillation of ant bodies. Esters, salts, and the anion derived from formic acid are referred to as formates.

Contents

Properties

Formic acid is miscible with water and most polar organic solvents, and somewhat soluble in hydrocarbons. In hydrocarbons and in the vapor phase, it consists of hydrogen-bonded dimers rather than individual molecules.[2][3] Owing to its tendency to hydrogen-bond, gaseous formic acid does not obey the ideal gas law.[3] Solid formic acid (two polymorphs) consists of an effectively endless network of hydrogen-bonded formic acid molecules. This relatively complicated compound also forms a low-boiling azeotrope with water (22.4%) and liquid formic acid also tends to supercool.

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