Synthesis of methyl formate

Preparation of methyl formate

Methyl formate is prepared by the action of methyl alcohol saturated with hydrochloric acid on calcium formate.

Preparation of methyl formate

Preparation of methyl formate

To the round-bottom flask equipped with dropping funnel and a reflux condenser, the latter being connected with a well-cooled descending condenser 100 g of calcium formate are placed. 130 ml methyl alcohol saturated with hydrogen chloride (methanol could absorb up to 40 % of hydrogen chloride) are placed in the dropping-funnel and added to the calcium formate. When all the methanol has been added, the mixture is allowed to stand for a short time and then methyl formate is distilled. The reaction product is washed many times with saturated sodium chloride solution and neutralized with sodium carbonate. Water and methanol is separated by allowing to stand with a large quantity of fused and finely ground calcium chloride for 24 hours. The reaction product and calcium chloride form a crystalline compound, which by simple distillation leads to pure methyl formate. Methyl formate is a liquid boiling at 31-32° C.

The war gases chemistry and analysis, by M. Sartory, 100-101, 1939.


methyl formate



InChI Key


Canonical SMILES


MeSH Synonyms

methyl formate, methyl formate, 18O-methyl ester-labeled, methyl formate, formic-18O-acid-O-methyl-labeled, methyl formate, hydride

Depositor-Supplied Synonyms

METHYL FORMATE, Formic acid, methyl ester, 107-31-3, Formic acid methyl ester, Methyl methanoate, Methylformiat, Formiate de methyle, Methylformiaat, Mravencan methylnaty, Caswell No. 570, HCOOCH3, Methylformiaat [Dutch], Methylformiat [German], methanoic acid methyl ester, Methylester kyseliny mravenci, Mravencan methylnaty [Czech], Formiate de methyle [French], CCRIS 6062, HSDB 232, Metil (formiato di) [Italian], CHEBI:77699, Methyle (formiate de) [French], TZIHFWKZFHZASV-UHFFFAOYSA-N, EINECS 203-481-7, Methylester kyseliny mravenci [Czech], UN1243, EPA Pesticide Chemical Code 053701, AI3-00408, R-611, Metil (formiato di), Methyle (formiate de), HCO2CH3, ACMC-1BV5Q, DSSTox_CID_5609, UNII-1MPH591FTG, AC1L1PQ9, AC1Q6QW4, Methyl ester of formic acid, 1MPH591FTG, DSSTox_RID_77852, DSSTox_GSID_25609, M46837_ALDRICH, KSC175G5T, W519103_ALDRICH, 259705_ALDRICH, 291056_ALDRICH, CHEMBL295026, 06547_FLUKA, CTK0H5359, M46837_SIAL, MolPort-003-925-521, LTBB002227, 259705_SIAL, 291056_SIAL, Tox21_300962, ANW-15759, AR-1J5822, LS-438, ZINC06661292, AKOS015892698, RP18254, RTR-001690, UN 1243, NCGC00248231-01, NCGC00254864-01, AN-22474, CAS-107-31-3, KB-54782, DB-000421, TR-001690, F0057, F0086, FT-0628731, S0299, InChI=1/C2H4O2/c1-4-2-3/h2H,1H, Methyl formate [UN1243] [Flammable liquid], Methyl formate [UN1243] [Flammable liquid], 25824-EP2289509A2, 25824-EP2292597A1, 25824-EP2301925A1, 25824-EP2315303A1, 25824-EP2371831A1, 25824-EP2380568A1, 3B4-0369, I04-0212

Removed Synonyms

METHYLFORMATE, methyl formate, hydride, CID7865, methyl formate, 18O-methyl ester-labeled, C025468, methyl formate, formic-18O-acid-O-methyl-labeled, 108695-68-7, 23731-38-6

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