Formate(redirected from Formic acid esters)
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(or formiate), a salt or ester of formic acid. The most important ester formates are the methyl formic ester (methyl formate, HCOOCH5) and ethyl formic ester (ethyl formate, HCOOC2H3). Both are colorless liquids with a pleasant odor. The melting point of methyl formate is 31.5°C, and that of ethyl formate, 54.1°C. Both esters are commercially prepared from carbon monoxide and the corresponding alcohol. They are used as solvents and fumigants and in organic synthesis; for example, ethyl formate is used in the preparation of vitamin B1. Certain ester formates are used as aromatic substances in the manufacture of perfumes. The esters of orthoformic acid are sometimes classified as formates.
The most important salt formate is the sodium salt HCOONa, which is used in the preparation of oxalic acid.