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Last updated date: 20th Apr 2024
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What Does Oxalate Mean and Everything at its Base

One of the most abundant compounds that are found in the plants and the human body as well, Oxalates are a significant section under modern-day chemistry. This module revolves around educating the readers over the naturally occurring oxalate molecules, structure of oxalate ions, and all the other structures formulas that help understand the chapter at its very base. Another primary focus of the module is to educate students and readers around what is the meaning of oxalate and what it has to do with the required nutritional needs of the people. Let’s have a look at all the significant aspects of what is an oxalate.

Oxalates, What are They?

Represented by the chemical formula, C₂O₄⁻². What contains Oxalate are a dicarboxylic acid dianion composition that goes with the chemical formula of C₂O₄

Also known as Ethanedioate or Oxalate Ion or Oxalic Acid Dianion, Oxalates are one of the most abundant materials that exist on the earth’s surface, found in both plants and animals. Interestingly, the process of obtaining it through the deprotonation of the given carboxy groups of C₂H₂O₄ (oxalic acid). These specific carboxyl groups are used as a source of derivatives, similar to the likes of salts that are present over oxalic acid. Few examples over the same suggestions are dimethyl oxalate or sodium oxalate. Further, Oxalates also form superior coordination with a variety of compounds that are sometimes also abbreviated as an ‘ox’.

What Do Oxalates Do? Where are They Found and Obtained? 

Oxalates are a vital nutrient to help build immunity and provide the body with proper functioning. However, too much oxalates is also not a good option as it leads to kidney stones. Therefore, it is always advisable to understand what is oxalate food and what is its constituents, to keep a check on your oxalate intake.

A form of Oxalate, Ethanedioate is one of the most abundant materials that is found over many parts of plants and can be easily obtained over the process of incomplete oxidation of carbohydrates. This way, the abundant materials can be easily led down the roots and leaves of a majority of plants, more commonly buckwheat and rhubarb; these are one of the most common examples of oxalate-rich plants. Lastly, Ethanedioate plays a significant role in acting as a plant metabolite or a human metabolite.

Properties of Oxalate - CO₄²



Given the molecular weight of C₂O₄⁻² 

88.019 g/mol

Total hydrogen bond acceptor


Monoisotopic mass of Oxalate

87.98 g/mol

No. of hydrogen bond donor


Health Hazards Related to Oxalates 

Our human bodies are enriched with a number of constituents, Oxalic acid being one of the significant constituents inside. Further, the human body also comprises several forms of divalent metallic cations, similar to the forms of iron (II) and the forms of different calcium constituents that are present alongside as well. Further, these compounds can rightly be formed with crystals of the suggested corresponding oxalates. The suggested crystals can later be quickly passed through the excreted urine from our body, in the form of minute crystals. 

When your body keeps dealing with high amounts of oxalates, you put yourself at a higher risk of forming kidney stones.

FAQs on Oxalate

Q1. What is Oxalate Ions?

Oxalate ions, or more commonly known as Ethanedioate or Oxalate Ion, or sometimes even called as the Dianion of Oxalic Acid, is the core component that can be found inside the structure of oxalate. Interestingly, these ions are obtained from deprotonation from the C₂O₄ structure. Under this, both the C₂H₂O₄ (oxalic acid) that comes under the carboxyl groups go into the study. Now, if you are wondering what is oxalate used for, here’s your answer for the same:

The oxalate ion is majorly used for compounds that are present over the organic tables, mainly: oxalic acid salts, sodium oxalate, or dimethyl oxalate.

Q2. What is the Charge on Oxalate Ions? Is Oxalate the Same as Oxalic Acid?

Coming to the structure and composition of the polyatomic ion C₂O₄, this ion comes with -2 charge, making it a highly reactive for all the significant reactions and bonds that can be formed easily. Further, this molecule comprises an oxygen atom and comes with an oxidation state of -2, the reason behind the same being that oxygen also has -2 charges on it. 

Now, considering the formula of oxalate, the nutrition science comprises two major branches of oxalate, one being “oxalic acid” and the other being “oxalate”, both of which are used interchangeably. Once the oxalate is ingested, it starts to form a bond with all the necessary minerals present in, resulting in the creation of compounds.