Oxalic acid, also called Oxalate, is a strong organic acid (pKa1=1.25 and pKa2=4.27) & toxic organic compounds belonging to the family of carboxylic acids. , with a formula C2H2O4, it is produced by fungi, bacteria, plants, and animals. It found in many plants such as leafy greens, vegetables, fruits, cocoa, nuts and seeds it is a colorless crystalline solid that forms a colorless solution in water. It is a strong dicarboxylic acid occurring in many plants and vegetables. It is produced in the body by metabolism of glyoxylic acid or ascorbic acid. It is not metabolized but excreted in the urine. It is used as an analytical reagent and general reducing agent. Your body can produce C2H2O4 on its own or obtain it from food. Vitamin C can also be converted into this product when it’s metabolized. It was first prepared synthetically in 1776. It is manufactured by heating sodium formate in the presence of an alkali catalyst, by oxidizing carbohydrates with nitric acid, by heating sawdust with caustic alkalies, or by fermentation of sugar solutions in the presence of certain molds. Once consumed, it can bind to minerals to form compounds, including calcium oxalate and iron oxalate. This mostly occurs in the colon, but can also take place in the kidneys and other parts of the urinary tract. it is an essential household chemical that can be used, like many acids, as a cleaner for various things; for example, as a rust remover, a cleaning agent, on woodwork as a stain lifter, as a bleaching agent, and many more.
physical and Chemical Properties of Oxalic Acid
- Extractive metallurgy
- Cleaning and furnishing care products
- Electrical and electronic products
- Laundry and dishwashing products
- Metal products not covered elsewhere
- Paints and coatings
- Photographic supplies, film, and photo chemicals
- Plastic and rubber products not covered elsewhere
- Surface preparation
- used in formulation of cleaning products
- used in products that are used as cleaners in plating processes, examples of final uses are automotive and machinery.
Oxalic acid can be used as a bleaching agent for both wood and stone. Wood, when exposed to the elements, can turn gray. When this substance is applied on an old and graying wood floor, it brings back the wood floor’s natural white color. Actually, this acid is often used when preparing to stain old wood floors. It is also used by furniture manufacturers to lighten heavily stained areas of wood furniture in preparation for refinishing.
‘This substance effectively removes ink, food stains, and many other types of stains. It is a gentle stain remover that eats the stain but leaves the base surfaces, such as wood, intact. You can use oxalic acid to remove most stains found on stone, brick, linoleum, wood, and vinyl surfaces.
it is also used to remove rusts that are commonly found on plumbing pipes and kitchen countertops and is a major ingredient found in commercial rust removers for sinks, tubs, and metal rust stains.
Aside from bleaching, rust removing, and stain removal, Oxalate is also used as a reducing agent in developing photographic film. You can also find it used in wastewater treatment as well since it can effectively remove calcium from wastewater. And lastly, oxalic acid is also used as a grinding agent when polishing marble.