Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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formic acid

A colorless, volatile, weak organic acid (H 2 CO 2 ). It occurs naturally, e.g., in ants, the fruit of the soaptree, etc., and is also formed as a byproduct in the atmospheric oxidation of turpentine. The principal commercial source is sodium formate, which is prepared by the reaction of carbon monoxide and sodium hydroxide under pressure and heat. Formic acid is used in leather manufacture to control pH, as well as in the acid dyeing of some leathers; in the latter case, causing the dye to fix on the leather. (306 )

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