The word "formic" comes from the Latin word for ant, formica, referring to its early isolation by the distillation of ant bodies. The most widely used base is sodium methoxide. The molecular weight of formic acid is determined by the sum of the atomic weights of each constituent element multiplied by the number of atoms, which is calculated to be: The exact term of the above molecular weight is “molar mass”, which is based on the atomic mass of each element. Hydrolysis of the methyl formate produces formic acid: Efficient hydrolysis of methyl formate requires a large excess of water. [8][9] The wood ants from the genus Formica can spray formic acid on their prey or to defend the nest. [12], Formic acid is also significantly used in the production of leather, including tanning (23% of the global consumption in 2009[12]), and in dyeing and finishing textiles (9% of the global consumption in 2009[12]) because of its acidic nature. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, "OSHA Occupational Chemical Database - Occupational Safety and Health Administration", "Phenolic compounds analysis of root, stalk, and leaves of nettle", "CEH Marketing Research Report: FORMIC ACID", "XX.—Interaction of glycerol and oxalic acid", Journal of the Chemical Society, Transactions, "Growth of E. coli on formate and methanol via the reductive glycine pathway", "Wireless device makes clean fuel from sunlight, CO2 and water", "Alternatives to Antibiotics for Organic Poultry Production", "Effect of Formic Acid and Plant Extracts on Growth, Nutrient Digestibility, Intestine Mucosa Morphology, and Meat Yield of Broilers", "Ant power: Take a ride on a bus that runs on formic acid", "Extracting energy from air - is this the future of fuel? The concentrated acid is corrosive to the skin.[6].

Esters, salts, and the anion derived from formic acid are called formates. [6] As of 2009[update], the largest producers are BASF, Eastman Chemical Company, LC Industrial, and Feicheng Acid Chemicals, with the largest production facilities in Ludwigshafen (200 thousand tonnes or 440 million pounds per year, BASF, Germany), Oulu (105 thousand tonnes or 230 million pounds, Eastman, Finland), Nakhon Pathom (n/a, LC Industrial), and Feicheng (100 thousand tonnes or 220 million pounds, Feicheng, China). ›› Formic Acid molecular weight Molar mass of HCOOH = 46.02538 g/mol Convert grams Formic Acid to moles or moles Formic Acid to grams Molecular weight calculation: 1.00794 + 12.0107 + 15.9994 + 15.9994 + 1.00794 ›› Percent composition by element The first person to describe the isolation of this substance (by the distillation of large numbers of ants) was the English naturalist John Ray, in 1671. Especially when paired with mass spectrometry detection, formic acid offers several advantages over the more traditionally used phosphoric acid.[36][37].

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