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Formic 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 ant venom. Wikipedia
Formula: CH2O2
Boiling point: 213.4°F (100.8°C)
Density: 1.22 g/cm³
IUPAC ID: Formic acid
Molar mass: 46.02538 g/mol
Melting point: 47.12°F (8.4°C)
When methanol and carbon monoxide are combined in the presence of a strong base, the acid derivative methyl formate results, according to the chemical equation:[4]
CH3OH + CO → HCO2CH3
In industry, this reaction is performed in the liquid phase at elevated pressure. Typical reaction conditions are 80 °C and 40 atm. The most widely-used base is sodium methoxide. Hydrolysis of the methyl formate produces formic acid:
HCO2CH3 + H2O → HCO2H + CH3OH
Efficient hydrolysis of methyl formate requires a large excess of water. Some routes proceed indirectly by first treating the methyl formate with ammonia to give formamide, which is then hydrolyzed with sulfuric acid:
HCO2CH3 + NH3 → HC(O)NH2 + CH3OH
2 HC(O)NH2 + 2H2O + H2SO4 → 2HCO2H + (NH4)2SO4
This approach suffers from the need to dispose of the ammonium sulfate byproduct. This problem has led some manufacturers to develop energy efficient means for separating formic acid from the large excess amount of water used in direct hydrolysis. In one of these processes (used by BASF) the formic acid is removed from the water via liquid-liquid extraction with an organic base.
Niche chemical routes

A major use of formic acid is as a preservative and antibacterial agent in livestock feed. In Europe, it is applied on silage (including fresh hay) to promote the fermentation of lactic acid and to suppress the formation of butyric acid; it also allows fermentation to occur quickly, and at a lower temperature, reducing the loss of nutritional value.[4] Formic acid arrests certain decay processes and causes the feed to retain its nutritive value longer, and so it is widely used to

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