Formic Acid

Definition - What does Formic Acid mean?

Formic acid, systematically known as methanoic acid is a simple form of carboxylic acid with the chemical formula HCOOH. It is environmentally friendly and formed naturally in the venom of bees and ants. It is used as an intermediate in chemical synthesis. For commercial purposes formic acid is primarily used as a preservative and antibacterial agent. It is also used in leather processing industries.

Petropedia explains Formic Acid

Formic acid is used in oil and gas upstream applications when enhanced oil recovery processes and well workover and intervention processes are performed.

In an oil well, formic acid helps in oil & gas well stimulation treatments. Hydrochloric acid (HCl) can also be used in well stimulation treatments, however, formic acid is mostly used because it can easily inhibit against pipe corrosion inside an oil or gas wells where the temperature is more than 200 degree Celsius.

The benefits of using formic acid in well stimulation treatment is that it corrodes the steel more uniformly at temperatures more than 200 degree Celsius and causes less pitting.

The following are some of the properties of formic acid:

  • Pungent odor
  • Colorless
  • Flash point: 68.9°C (156°F)
  • Molar mass: 46.03 g/mol
  • Density: 1.22 g/ml
  • Melting point: 8.4°C (47.1°F)
  • Boiling point: 100°C (212°F)
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