Oxalic acid is an organic compound with the formula C2H2O4. It is a white 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 (C
4), is a chelating agent for metal cations. Typically, oxalic acid occurs as the dihydrate with the formula C2H2O4·2H2O.
It occurs naturally in many foods, but excessive ingestion of oxalic acid or prolonged skin contact can be dangerous.
Its name comes from the fact that early investigators isolated oxalic acid from flowering plants of the genus Oxalis, commonly known as wood-sorrels.
Surface Oxalic Acid, 1 Kg Pack
Oxalic acid's main applications include cleaning or bleaching, especially for the removal of rust (iron complexing agent). Its utility in rust removal agents is due to its forming a stable, water-soluble salt with ferric iron, ferrioxalate ion.