formic acid


  • WordNet 3.6
    • n formic acid a colorless pungent fuming vesicatory liquid acid HCOOH found naturally in ants and many plants or made catalytically from carbon monoxide and steam; used in finishing textiles and paper and in the manufacture of insecticides and fumigants
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Some birds have been know to put ants into their feathers because the ants squirt formic acid, which kills parasites
    • Formic acid a colorless, mobile liquid, HCO.OH, of a sharp, acid taste, occurring naturally in ants, nettles, pine needles, etc., and produced artifically in many ways, as by the oxidation of methyl alcohol, by the reduction of carbonic acid or the destructive distillation of oxalic acid. It is the first member of the fatty acids in the paraffin series, and is homologous with acetic acid.
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In literature:

The presence of formic and acetic acid supplies the blood with fresh electricity to stimulate the nerves.
"Valere Aude" by Louis Dechmann
In some cases it becomes changed in the body into formic acid, which should therefore be sought for.
"Aids to Forensic Medicine and Toxicology" by W. G. Aitchison Robertson
The inflammation caused by the sting of the bee is due to formic acid.
"An Elementary Study of Chemistry" by William McPherson
It is true he tastes slightly of formic acid, but that is just the flavour that epicures admire.
"The Bush Boys" by Captain Mayne Reid
Balsam Peru, 15 minims; formic acid, 1 drachm; chloral hydrate, 1 drachm; alcohol to make 3 ounces.
"Practical Mechanics for Boys" by J. S. Zerbe
Moreover, whereas in the previous cases it was mainly acetic acid, it is now mainly formic acid.
"Researches on Cellulose" by C. F. Cross
Nitrate of lead 1 dr. Formic acid 2 drs.
"Notes and Queries, Number 207, October 15, 1853" by Various
The distillate "B" may contain formic, acetic, propionic, butyric and benzoic acids.
"The Elements of Bacteriological Technique" by John William Henry Eyre
Formic Formic acid Acid of ants.
"Elements of Chemistry," by Antoine Lavoisier
Another mixture of this type is formic acid and water.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 8, Slice 5" by Various
The principal products are oxalic, carbonic, formic and acetic acids.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 5, Slice 5" by Various
Some species have stings as weapons, others only their powerful mandibles, or an acrid and pungent fluid (formic acid) which they can emit.
"The New Gresham Encyclopedia. Vol. 1 Part 2" by Various
The poison is usually referred to as formic acid.
"Handbook of Medical Entomology" by William Albert Riley
There is a deal to be said in favour of the use of another organic acid, formic acid.
"The Preparation of Plantation Rubber" by Sidney Morgan
Hydrolysis of hydrocyanic acid by means of hydrochloric acid yields formic acid.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 10, Slice 6" by Various
Glycerin is also employed in the manufacture of formic acid (q.v.).
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 12, Slice 2" by Various
The formic acid that the ants secrete had partly paralyzed it and made defence impossible.
"Bert Wilson at the Wheel" by J. W. Duffield
It is unaffected by chromic acid, but potassium permanganate oxidizes it to formic acid.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 14, Slice 3" by Various
Formic acid in Cheddar, 248.
"The Book of Cheese" by Charles Thom and Walter Warner Fisk
The acid required (preferably formic) is added later to develop the full shade.
"Animal Proteins" by Hugh Garner Bennett

In poetry:

The ant has made herself illustrious
By constant industry industrious.
So what? Would you be calm and placid
If you were full of formic acid?
"The Ant" by Ogden Nash

In news:

BASF has announced plans to build a world-scale production plant for formic acid at its integrated "Verbund" site in Geismar, La.
As the only formic acid production plant in North America, it will create 20 new jobs and have an annual capacity of more than 50,000 tons.
Tekion hold the exclusive license to formic-acid fuel cell technology from the University of Illinois, Champaign, Ill.
Geismar, La — Today, Governor Bobby Jindal and BASF executives joined other officials in breaking ground on a new formic acid production plant at the company's 2,600-acre chemical complex in Geismar.

In science:

Several key species in the organic chemistry such as ethanol (C2H5OH) and formic acid (HCOOH) have been elusive to several detection attempts.
Observing the molecular composition of galaxies