Zeee Y.

asked • 01/10/20

The simplest carboxylic acid is methanoic acid HCOOH. It occurs naturally in ants.

The simplest carboxylic acid is methanoic acid HCOOH. It occurs naturally in ants.

When an ant bites, it injects a solution containing 50% by volume of methanoic acid. A typical ant may inject around 6.0 x 10-3 mL of this solution.

a) When you are bitten by an ant it does not inject you with all of its methanoic acid but keeps a little in reserve. Assuming that a typical ant injects 80% of its methanoic acid, what is the total volume of pure methanoic acid contained in a ‘typical ant’?

b) How many ‘typical ants’ would have to be distilled to produce 1 L of pure methanoic acid?

Sodium hydrogencarbonate, NaHCO3 is often used to treat ant stings. The reaction between methanoic acid and sodium hydrogencarbonate is:

HCOOH + NaHCO3àHCOO- + Na+ + H2O + CO2

c) Given that the density of methanoic acid is 1.2 g mL , how many moles of methanoic acid

does the typical ant inject?

d) What mass of sodium hydrogencarbonate would be required to neutralise completely the sting from this ant?

1 Expert Answer

By:

Apsara G. answered • 01/10/20

Experienced Chemistry instructor with Ph. D.

Stanton D.

Just sayin' -- anyone who distills 2.6 * 10^5 ants to get a liter of formic acid is around the bend. And, not all ants inject formic acid, some just bite, and some inject other toxins as well (fire ants, e.g.). One thing is certain -- if you have 10^5 fire ants out there, you won't have any problems with moles (the mammal type).
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01/10/20

Stanton D.

Reference to fire ants: "The painful sting of the fire ant may be familiar to many Americans, but the proteins that make up the potent venom have remained largely unknown. Researchers have now used mass spectrometry to identify 46 proteins in the venom of Solenopsis invicta, an invasive species of fire ant (J. Proteome Res., DOI: 10.1021/pr300451g). They say the proteins could inspire drug discovery."
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01/10/20

Stanton D.

Boy, I don't know what the text editor problem is today!
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01/10/20

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