Comparison of formic acid and acetic acid

Formic Acid. HCOOH.

Comparison of formic acid and acetic acid

Points of Resemblance

  1. Forms salts with bases, carbonates, and bicarbonates.
  2. Forms esters when treated with alcohols in the presence of conc. H2SO4
  3. Reacts with PCl5 to give formyl chlorine which being unstable decomposes to give CO+ HCl.
  4. Forms an amide (formamide) when its ammonium salt is heated.

Points of Difference

When formic acid is heated above 160C under pressure, it gives CO2 + H2.
When formic acid is heated with conc. H2SO4, it gives CO + H2O
Formic acid does not react with Cl2 in the presence of red P.
Gives formaldehyde when its calcium salt is heated.
When its sodium salt is heated with soda-lime, hydrogen is formed.
When its sodium salt is heated to 360C, sodium oxalate is formed.
Electrolysis of aqueous solution of sodium salt gives hydrogen.
Formic acid reduces Fehling’s solution and Tollens’ reagent.

Acetic Acid. CH3COOH.

Points of Resemblance

  1. Forms salts with bases, carbonates, and bicarbonates.
  2. Forms esters when treated with alcohols in the presence of conc. H2SO4.
  3. Reacts with PCl5 to give acetyl chloride.
  4. Forms an amide (acetamide) when its ammonium salt is heated.

Points of Difference

  1. Acetic acid is stable to heat.
  2. Acetic acid does not react with conc. H2SO4.
  3. Acetic acid reacts with Cl2 in the presence of P to form mono-, di-, or trichloroacetic acid.
  4. Gives acetone when its calcium salt is heated.
  5. When its sodium salt is heated with soda-lime, methane is formed.
  6. Its sodium salt is stable at 360C.
  7. Electrolysis of aqueous solution of sodium salt gives ethane.
  8. Acetic acid does not react with Fehling’s solution or Tollens’reagent.

1 thought on “Comparison of formic acid and acetic acid”

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