Concept

Formic acid

Summary
Formic acid (), systematically named methanoic acid, is the simplest carboxylic acid, and has the chemical formula HCOOH and structure . It is an important intermediate in chemical synthesis and occurs naturally, most notably in some ants. Esters, salts and the anion derived from formic acid are called formates. Industrially, formic acid is produced from methanol. Natural occurrence Insect defenses In nature, formic acid is found in most ants and in stingless bees of the genus Oxytrigona. Wood ants from the genus Formica can spray formic acid on their prey or to defend the nest. The puss moth caterpillar (Cerura vinula) will spray it as well when threatened by predators. It is also found in the trichomes of stinging nettle (Urtica dioica). Apart from that, this acid is incorporated in many fruits such as pineapple (0.21mg per 100g), apple (2mg per 100g) and kiwi (1mg per 100g), as well as in many vegetables, namely onion (45mg per 100g), eggplant (1.34 mg per 100g) and, in ex
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