Formic Acid is also known as Formylic Acid or Methanoic Acid. It is a covalent compound. Covalent compounds are formed by sharing of electrons between elements. All organic compounds are covalent compounds since they contain Carbon, and Carbon has the highest propensity amongst all elements to form covalent compounds. If you look at the formic acid formula, it contains a Hydrogen atom bonded to a carboxylic acid functional group. The molecular or chemical formula of Formic Acid is HCOOH or HCO2H.
What is the Structural Formula of Formic Acid?
Formic Acid is the simplest of all carboxylic acids. It includes a Hydrogen atom bonded to a carboxylic acid group. The Hydrogen atom’s small size does not interfere much with the O-C-O bond angles in the carboxylic acid functional group. The O-C-O bond angle is 116.8 degrees. The incoming Hydrogen atom forms a bond with the hydroxyl Oxygen. The dihedral angle of the H-C-O-O bond is 180 degrees.
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Fig. Structure of Formic Acid
What are the Properties of Formic Acid?
As stated earlier, the chemical formula of methanoic Acid is HCOOH. The chemical formula of the Acid determines its properties, which are:
It has a molecular weight of 46.025 g/mol.
Formic Acid has a melting point of 8.4 degrees.
Formic Acid has a boiling point of 100.8 degrees.
Formic Acid has a density of 1.22 g/mL.
Formic Acid is a pungent-smelling colourless liquid. Due to the carboxylic group, it tastes sour.
Formic Acid is miscible in methanol, acetone, ether, ethanol, ethyl acetate, and ether. It is also partially soluble in toluene, xylene, and benzene.
Formic Acid can be prepared chemically from carbon dioxide, methyl formate, formamide, etc.
Formic Acid is more vital than Acetic Acid.
Natural Occurrence of Formic Acid
Formic Acid exists in nature. Bee stings and ant stings contain formic Acid. When they sting, we feel pain on our skin due to formic Acid's reaction with our skin. Formic Acid can activate our pain receptors. Moreover, it has also been found to have antibacterial activity. Therefore, Formic Acid is used for various purposes.
What are the Uses of Formic Acid?
Formic Acid has several uses. Some of them include:
Formic Acid is used in livestock feed since it prevents bacterial growth on them during storage.
Formic Acid can be used as a preservative.
Beekeepers use Formic Acid as a miticide against mites.
Formic Acid is used in the manufacturing process of rubber, leather, etc.
Formic Acid is used in the manufacture of isobutanol from CO2.
Formic Acid is a chief ingredient in fuel cells.
Formic Acid is the simplest kind of organic Acid comprising a Hydrogen atom bonded to the Carboxylic acid functional group. It is a naturally occurring acid found in bee and ant stings. The structural formula of methanoic Acid determines the physical and chemical properties. Formic Acid has several uses in the manufacture of other chemicals, preservatives, etc.