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Oxalic acid

|Section7={{Chembox Hazards | MainHazards = corrosive | NFPA-H = 3 | NFPA-F = 1 | NFPA-R = 0 | FlashPtC = 166 | ExternalSDS = External MSDS | IDLH = 500 mg/m3 | REL = TWA 1 mg/m3 ST 2 mg/m3 | PEL = TWA 1 mg/m3 | LDLo = 1000 mg/kg (dog, oral)1400 mg/kg (rat)7500 mg/kg (rat, oral) }} |Section8={{Chembox Related | OtherCompounds = oxalyl chloride disodium oxalate calcium oxalate phenyl oxalate ester }} }} Oxalic acid is an organic compound with the formula C2H2O4. It is a colorless crystalline solid that forms a colorless solution in water. Its condensed formula is HOOCCOOH, reflecting its classification as the simplest dicarboxylic acid. Its acid strength is much greater than that of acetic acid. Oxalic acid is a reducing agent and its conjugate base, known as oxalate (), is a chelating agent for metal cations. Typically, oxalic acid occurs as the dihydrate with the formula C2H2O4·2H2O. Excessive ingestion of oxalic acid or prolonged skin contact can be dangerous.

History

The preparation of salts of oxalic acid from plants had been known, at the latest, since 1745, when the Dutch botanist and physician Herman Boerhaave isolated a salt from sorrel.See:
  • Herman Boerhaave, Elementa Chemiae (Basil, Switzerland: Johann Rudolph Im-hoff, 1745), volume 2, pp. 35-38. (in Latin) From p. 35: "Processus VII. Sal nativum plantarum paratus de succo illarum recens presso. Hic Acetosae." (Procedure 7. A natural salt of plants prepared from their freshly pressed juice. This obtained from sorrel.)
  • Henry Enfield Roscoe and Carl Schorlemmer, ed.s, A Treatise on Chemistry (New York, New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1890), volume 3, part 2, p. 105.
  • See also Wikipedia's articles " Oxalis acetosella" and " Potassium hydrogen oxalate". By 1773, François Pierre Savary of Fribourg, Switzerland had isolated oxalic acid from its salt in sorrel.See:
  • François Pierre Savary, Dissertatio Inauguralis De Sale Essentiali Acetosellæ dissertation on the essential salt of wood sorrel (Jean François Le Roux, 1773). (in Latin) Savary noticed that when he distilled sorrel salt (potassium hydrogen oxalate), crystals would sublimate onto the receiver. From p. 17: "Unum adhuc circa liquorem acidum, quem sal acetosellae tam sincerissimum a nobis paratum quam venale destillatione fundit phoenomenon erit notandum, nimirum quod aliquid ejus sub forma sicca crystallina lateribus excipuli accrescat, … " (One more thing will be noted regarding the acid liquid, which furnished for us sorrel salt as pure as commercial distillations, it produces a phenomenon, that evidently something in dry, crystalline form grows on the sides of the receiver, … ) These were crystals of oxalic acid.
  • Leopold Gmelin with Henry Watts, trans., Hand-book of Chemistry (London, England: Cavendish Society, 1855), volume 9, p. 111.
In 1776, Swedish chemists Carl Wilhelm Scheele and Torbern Olof BergmanSee:
  • Torbern Bergman with Johan Afzelius (1776) Dissertatio chemica de acido sacchari dissertation on sugar acid (Uppsala, Sweden: Edman, 1776).
  • Torbern Bergman, Opuscula Physica et Chemica, (Leipzig (Lipsia), (Germany): I.G. Müller, 1776), volume 1, "VIII. De acido Sacchari," pp. 238-263. produced oxalic acid by reacting sugar with concentrated nitric acid; Scheele called the acid that resulted socker-syra or såcker-syra (sugar acid). By 1784, Scheele had shown that "sugar acid" and oxalic acid from natural sources were identical.Carl Wilhelm Scheele (1784) "Om Rhabarber-jordens bestånds-delar, samt sått at tilreda Acetosell-syran" (On rhubarb-earth's constituents, as well as ways of preparing sorrel-acid), Kungliga Vetenskapsakademiens Nya Handlingar Proceedings of the Royal Academy of Science, 2nd series, 5 : 183-187. (in Swedish) From p. 187: "Således finnes just samma syra som vi genom konst af socker med tilhjelp af salpeter-syra tilreda, redan förut af naturen tilredd uti o̊rten Acetosella." (Thus it is concluded that the very same acid as we prepare artificially by means of sugar with the help of nitric acid, was previously prepared naturally in the herb acetosella sorrel.)
In 1824, the German chemist Friedrich Wöhler obtained oxalic acid by reacting cyanogen with ammonia in aqueous solution.See:

Preparation

Oxalic acid is mainly manufactured by the oxidation of carbohydrates or glucose using nitric acid or air in the presence of vanadium pentoxide. A variety of precursors can be used including glycolic acid and ethylene glycol.Eiichi, Yonemitsu; Tomiya, Isshiki; Tsuyoshi, Suzuki and Yukio, Yashima "Process for the production of oxalic acid", , priority date March 15, 1969 A newer method entails oxidative carbonylation of alcohols to give the diesters of oxalic acid: 4 ROH + 4 CO + O2 → 2 (CO2R)2 + 2 H2O These diesters are subsequently hydrolyzed to oxalic acid. Approximately 120,000 tonnes are produced annually.Wilhelm Riemenschneider, Minoru Tanifuji "Oxalic acid" in Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, 2002, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim. . Historically oxalic acid was obtained exclusively by using caustics, such as sodium or potassium hydroxide, on sawdust.

Laboratory methods

Although it can be readily purchased, oxalic acid can be prepared in the laboratory by oxidizing sucrose using nitric acid in the presence of a small amount of vanadium pentoxide as a catalyst.Practical Organic Chemistry by Julius B. Cohen, 1930 ed. preparation #42 The hydrated solid can be dehydrated with heat or by azeotropic distillation. Developed in the Netherlands, an electrocatalysis by a copper complex helps reduce carbon dioxide to oxalic acid; this conversion uses carbon dioxide as a feedstock to generate oxalic acid.

Structure

Anhydrous oxalic acid exists as two polymorphs; in one the hydrogen-bonding results in a chain-like structure whereas the hydrogen bonding pattern in the other form defines a sheet-like structure.Wells, A.F. (1984) Structural Inorganic Chemistry, Oxford: Clarendon Press. . Because the anhydrous material is both acidic and hydrophilic (water seeking), it is used in esterifications.

Reactions

Oxalic acid is a relatively strong acid, despite being a carboxylic acid: C2O4H2 C2O4H− + H+ pKa = 1.27 C2O4H− + H+ pKa = 4.27 Oxalic acid undergoes many of the reactions characteristic of other carboxylic acids. It forms esters such as dimethyl oxalate ( m.p. ). It forms an acid chloride called oxalyl chloride. Oxalate, the conjugate base of oxalic acid, is an excellent ligand for metal ions, e.g. the drug oxaliplatin. Oxalic acid and oxalates can be oxidized by permanganate in an autocatalytic reaction.

Occurrence

Biosynthesis

At least two pathways exist for the enzyme-mediated formation of oxalate. In one pathway, oxaloacetate, a component of the Krebs citric acid cycle, is hydrolyzed to oxalate and acetic acid by the enzyme oxaloacetase:. O2CC(O)CH2CO22− + H2O → + + H+ It also arises from the dehydrogenation of glycolic acid, which is produced by the metabolism of ethylene glycol.

Occurrence in foods and plants

Calcium oxalate is the most common component of kidney stones. Early investigators isolated oxalic acid from wood-sorrel (Oxalis). Members of the spinach family and the brassicas ( cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts) are high in oxalates, as are sorrel and umbellifers like parsley.Rombauer, Rombauer Becker, and Becker (1931/1997). Joy of Cooking, p.415. . Rhubarb leaves contain about 0.5% oxalic acid, and jack-in-the-pulpit ( Arisaema triphyllum) contains calcium oxalate crystals. Similarly, the Virginia creeper, a common decorative vine, produces oxalic acid in its berries as well as oxalite crystals in the sap, in the form of raphides. Bacteria produce oxalates from oxidation of carbohydrates. Plants of the Fenestraria genus produce optical fibers made from crystalline oxalic acid to transmit light to subterranean photosynthetic sites.Attenborough, David. "Surviving." The Private Life of Plants: A Natural History of Plant Behaviour. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1995. 265+. "OpenLibrary.org: The Private Life of Plants" Print.

Other

Oxidized bitumen or bitumen exposed to gamma rays also contains oxalic acid among its degradation products. Oxalic acid may increase the leaching of radionuclides conditioned in bitumen for radioactive waste disposal. EPJ Web of Conferences

Biochemistry

The conjugate base of oxalic acid is the hydrogenoxalate anion, and its conjugate base ( oxalate) is a competitive inhibitor of the lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) enzyme. LDH catalyses the conversion of pyruvate to lactic acid (end product of the fermentation (anaerobic) process) oxidising the coenzyme NADH to NAD+ and H+ concurrently. Restoring NAD+ levels is essential to the continuation of anaerobic energy metabolism through glycolysis. As cancer cells preferentially use anaerobic metabolism (see Warburg effect) inhibition of LDH has been shown to inhibit tumor formation and growth, thus is an interesting potential course of cancer treatment.

Applications

About 25% of produced oxalic acid is used as a mordant in dyeing processes. It is used in bleaches, especially for pulpwood. It is also used in baking powder and as a third reagent in silica analysis instruments.

Cleaning

Oxalic acid's main applications include cleaning or bleaching, especially for the removal of rust (iron complexing agent). Bar Keepers Friend is an example of a household cleaner containing oxalic acid. Its utility in rust removal agents is due to its forming a stable, water-soluble salt with ferric iron, ferrioxalate ion.

Extractive metallurgy

Oxalic acid is an important reagent in lanthanide chemistry. Hydrated lanthanide oxalates form readily in very strongly acidic solutions in a densely crystalline, easily filtered form, largely free of contamination by nonlanthanide elements. Thermal decomposition of these oxalate gives the oxides, which is the most commonly marketed form of these elements.

Niche uses

Vaporized oxalic acid, or a 3.2% solution of oxalic acid in sugar syrup, is used by some beekeepers as a miticide against the parasitic varroa mite. Exploring New Methods for Varroa Mite Control, Yu-Lun Lisa Fu Oxalic acid is rubbed onto completed marble sculptures to seal the surface and introduce a shine. Oxalic acid is also used to clean iron and manganese deposits from quartz crystals.Jackson, Faith. "Quartz Crystal Cleaning". bluemooncrystals.com "Rock Currier – Cleaning Quartz". mindat.org Oxalic acid is used as a bleach for wood, removing black stains caused by dissolved iron that binds to the wood during water penetration.

Content in food items

Toxicity and safety

Oxalic acid in concentrated form can have harmful effects through contact and if ingested; manufacturers provide details in Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS). It is not identified as mutagenic or carcinogenic; there is a possible risk of congenital malformation in the fetus; may be harmful if inhaled, and is extremely destructive to tissue of mucous membranes and upper respiratory tract; harmful if swallowed; harmful to and destructive of tissue and causes burns if absorbed through the skin or is in contact with the eyes. Symptoms and effects include a burning sensation, cough, wheezing, laryngitis, shortness of breath, spasm, inflammation and edema of the larynx, inflammation and edema of the bronchi, pneumonitis, pulmonary edema. Oxalic acid dihydrate. MSDS. sigmaaldrich.com In humans, ingested oxalic acid has an oral LDLo (lowest published lethal dose) of 600 mg/kg. It has been reported that the lethal oral dose is 15 to 30 grams. "CDC – Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health Concentrations (IDLH): Oxalic acid – NIOSH Publications and Products". cdc.gov The toxicity of oxalic acid is due to kidney failure caused by precipitation of solid calcium oxalate, EMEA Committee for veterinary medicinal products, oxalic acid summary report, December 2003 the main component of kidney stones. Oxalic acid can also cause joint pain due to the formation of similar precipitates in the joints. Ingestion of ethylene glycol results in oxalic acid as a metabolite which can also cause acute kidney failure.

References

External links

"green air" © 2007 - Ingo Malchow, Webdesign Neustrelitz
This article based upon the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxalic_acid, the free encyclopaedia Wikipedia and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
Further informations available on the list of authors and history: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Oxalic_acid&action=history
presented by: Ingo Malchow, Mirower Bogen 22, 17235 Neustrelitz, Germany