What is the formic acid used for?

przelewanie kwasu mrówkowego do szklanej fiolki

If you have ever come into contact with nettle leaves or been stung by an ant, you have felt the effects of the formic acid on your skin. Despite very unpleasant sensations caused by contact of this substance with the skin, it has a very wide range of applications in everyday life. What are the valuable properties of the formic acid used for? Check.


What is the formic acid?

Formic acid (HCOOH), or acidum formicum is an organic compound, i.e. one that occurs in nature. It is a so-called carboxylic acid. In addition to being found, for example, in the bodies of bees, wasps and hornets it is produced on a larger scale by industrial methods. It is obtained by combining methanol or sodium hydroxide with carbon monoxide. This substance is characterized by its high volatility and the fact that it is corrosive and causes corrosion. Its benefits were discovered many years ago by the folk medicine - nettle poultices or ant venom mash were very common.


What are applications of the formic acid?

The formic acid is used in the food industry, where it is used as a preservative. It is added to fruit juices and fish preserves. Its role in the pharmaceutical industry is also very crucial. It forms the basis for drugs that help people suffering from rheumatism, sciatica or joint pain. It is also used to produce potent disinfectants. Among other reasons, it is used in grafting. It has fungicidal properties, so it is an ingredient in preparations designed for fighting and counteracting mold. It is used in beekeeping - it eliminates saprophytes which are extremely dangerous to bees. Formic acid also has a bactericidal effect and is sometimes present in some cosmetics. It is used during the organic synthesis. In animal production, on the other hand, its solution is used as an acidifier for feed as it helps to reduce growth of fungi and protozoa. In larger quantities it is harmful to humans. A dose of even 1 g per kilogram of body weight can cause severe poisoning, death, tissue necrosis or skin burns.

Read: What can you use the hydrogen peroxide solution for?