Formic acid (systematically called methanoic acid) is the simplest carboxylic acid. It is an important intermediate in chemical synthesis and occurs naturally, most famously in the venom of bee and ant stings. The principal use of formic acid is as a preservative and antibacterial agent in livestock feed.
Synonyms: Aminic acid; Formylic acid; Hydrogen carboxylic acid; Hydroxymethanone;
Chemical Formula: CH2O2
Formic acid is an efficient and environmentally friendly organic acid for many applications. In leather processing, the acid is used in tanning and dye fixing and serves also as a neutralizing agent and pH adjuster in many steps of textile processing. In the production of epoxidized soy bean oil formic acid is used in combination with hydrogen peroxide as oxidizing agent. In home care, industrial and institutional cleaning, formic acid is a powerful descaler as well as a valuable biocide in many cleaning applications under the Protectol FM brand. It is also used to adjust pH values in flue gas desulfurization, latex coagulation and other applications. Formic acid can serve as a hydride donor in various chemical processes. In animal nutrition the acid preserves feed and silage. In oil field applications it helps to dissolve calcium carbonate. Potassium formate, a salt of formic acid, also helps with well drilling and completion in the oil field industry. Furthermore, potassium formate is environmentally friendly and at the same time a highly efficient deicing agent for roads and airport runways. As it is readily biodegradable, it protects the environment. The pharmaceutical industry uses formic acid in the production of various active pharmaceutical ingredients.