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What is Formic Acid


Formic acid is the simplest member of the carboxylic acid family and is also known as methanoic acid. Formic Acid got its name from “formica”, the Latin name for ant. An English naturalist named John Ray was the first person to isolate formic acid from ants.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 by treatment of carbon monoxide with an alcohol such as methanol (methyl alcohol) in the presence of a catalyst.
Our bodies make small quantities of formic acid from the methanol that we ingest, inhale or produce. Some of the methanol produced in the body is made from aspartame. The body converts aspartame into aspartic acid, phenylalanine and methanol. The methanol is then converted into formic acid. Formic acid can be made synthetically in laboratories. In nature it usually exists in the form of a colorless liquid. This liquid freezes at 8.3 degrees Celsius (46.9 degrees Fahrenheit) and boils at 100.7 degrees Celsius. (213.3 degrees Fahrenheit). It has a strong odor and is often described as having a "pungent" smell.Formic acid is an irritating chemical present in the venom of many ant species and in the secretion released from many stinging nettles. It's dangerous at high concentrations, but at low concentrations it's very useful.
Humans use formic acid as a food preservative, since it's an antibacterial substance. It’s also used to treat pests, to produce food and cosmetic additives and to help a variety of industrial processes to occur.Formic acid is a kind basic material in organic chemicals. It is widely used in pesticides industry, leather industry, medicine industry, rubber industry, printing and dyeing industry. Formic acid can also be used directly in a fuel cell. That might be easier because it saves the extra step of first converting it into hydrogen.