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What are the Major Uses of Formic Acid in Various Industries?

Uses of Formic Acid

Formic acid or methanoic acid is the simplest available carboxylic acid and is a colorless, corrosive, volatile liquid with a pungent odor. This acid, also known as ant ink, was first discovered by analyzing vapors from the accumulation of certain species of ants The above product is a valuable chemical that is difficult to replace in many cases. Its acidic and reducing properties have led to its use in many agricultural, pharmaceutical, food, textile, and chemical uses.

Uses of Formic Acid in Daily Life:

Formic acid is used in the synthesis of chemicals and pharmaceuticals, food additives, the production of pesticides, the textile industry, tanning, and leather production, animal feed, and as a pH regulator in neutralizing the alkaline environment. In the following, we will explain the major uses of formic acid:

Animal Feed:

Formic acid is mostly used as a preservative (to prevent spoilage) and antibacterial in animal feed. Applying some of it to freshly dried grass prevents it from decaying and preserves its nutrients to a high degree. This acid is also used in large livestock complexes to prevent spoilage of livestock winter food. It is also added to chicken feed to kill Salmonella bacteria in poultry farms.

formic acid in Animal Feed


Formic acid has become very popular among beekeepers due to its various properties and is widely used. Today, beekeepers use this widely used chemical to control and eradicate beehive mites, especially Varroa mites. Its reasonable price and high ability to eradicate this type of mite and other hive mites are among the reasons for its popularity acid is among beekeepers.

This substance does not penetrate into the honey and does not leave a trace in the final honey obtained.

Liquid Fuel Cells:

Decomposition of this substance by heat or by reaction with sulfuric acid is accompanied by the production of carbon monoxide and water, which will be converted to hydrogen if a suitable catalyst is used. Since the amount of hydrogen produced in this reaction is high, it can be It was used as a suitable source of hydrogen for hydrogen fuels. These liquid fuels are expanding in vehicles and other industrial applications due to their renewable nature.

Tanning and Leather Production:

Formic acid is used in the tanning industry to disinfect and neutralize lime when hair removal raw skin. It is also used in leather dyeing as a uniform.

Textile Industry:

In textiles, formic acid is used to stabilize the color on the fibers, in dyeing natural and synthetic fibers such as wool and nylon and to neutralize the alkaline solution when washing the fabric.

formic acid in Textile Industry

Food Industry:

The toxicity of this functional acid is very low, so it can be used as a preservative (E236) in the food industry. One of the applications of this acid in the food industry is to increase the fermentation rate at low temperatures. This use of formic acid can be very economical because this acid is cheap in large quantities. In addition, its use preserves the nutritional value of products.

And other uses:


Formic acid is also widely used in the medical industry. This acid is used for various syntheses. For example, this acid is widely used to synthesize insulin.


Other uses of formic acid include its use in the detergent industry. In fact, formic acid is present in many industrial cleaners as well as household cleaners.

Perfume and Cologne:

Other applications of formic acid include its use as a solvent in the production of perfumes and colognes. This substance is also present in the industry of producing various essential oils.


Formic acid is environmentally friendly and its presence will not cause damage to the environment plants, animals, and soil. For this reason, it is used in a wide range of animal feed, food additives, and agriculture.

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4 thoughts on “What are the Major Uses of Formic Acid in Various Industries?

  1. julia says:

    Why is formic acid used in chromatography?

    1. china chemicals says:

      In high-performance liquid chromatography, it is sometimes used as the mobile phase to separate large hydrophobic molecules, such as peptides, proteins, etc.

  2. Henry says:

    What is the pH of formic acid?

    1. china chemicals says:

      The pH of formic acid is 3.25.

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