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oxalic acid

Product name oxalic acid
Synonyms ethanedioic acid
GOST no data
CAS 144-62-7

Oxalic acid is a colorless, hygroscopic, odorless crystalline solid. It is boundedly soluble in water (6.6g/100ml at 15°C), solubility rises with the temperature. Almost insoluble in chloroform, petroleum ether, benzene. It forms stable dihydrate. Oxalic acid is a simplest dicarboxylic acid, t is a relatively strong organic acid, being about 10,000 times stronger than acetic acid. Its salts and esters are called oxalates. Oxalate is a good ligand for metal ions, where it usually binds as a bidentate chelate ligand forming a five-membered ring. Oxalic acid and oxalates are abundantly present in nature in many plants, thus it occurs in sorrel as a potassium oxalate. Bodily oxalic acid may be produced via the metabolism of either glyoxylic acid or unused ascorbic acid (vitamin C).


  • by absorbing carbon monoxide under pressure in hot sodium hydroxide followed by heating of sodium formate to give sodium oxalate and, finally acidifying to release free oxalic acid:

    NaOH + CO --> HCOONa
    HCOONa --> NaOOC-COONa + H2
    NaOOC-COONa + H2SO4 --> HOOC-COOH + Na2SO4

  • by oxidation of carbohydrates, alcohols, glycols with the mixture of nitric and sulfuric acid in the presence of V2O5.
  • by oxidation of ethylene or acetylene with nitric acid in the presence of PdCl2 or Pd(NO3)2;


    Oxalic acid is used:

  • as a mordant in textile and tanning industry;
  • for bleaching, and rust removal in industry and household;
  • as reducing agents for photography;
  • as an insecticide against the parasitic Varroa mite;
  • as an purifying agent in pharmaceutical industry;
  • as a precipitating agent in rare-earth metal processing;
  • for waste water treatment;
  • for removing scale from automobile radiators;

  • Manufacturer(s) Organic synthesis plant
    Chemical structure of oxalic acid

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