Quantitating formic acid in an ant

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sara.ee's picture
Quantitating formic acid in an ant

Hello all,

How can we quantitate formic acid that an ant has? Do you know how much is it? Can we use quartz crystal microbalance ?
I do not have any information about it.

Any help will be appreciated.

Dr. Analytical
Dr. Analytical's picture
Your best approach will be

Your best approach will be chemical analysis.  The mass loss from a microbalance is not specific and you could not verify that the loss is due only to formic acid.  Similarly, a titration with base would not be specific, except unless you were very careful about how the experiment was performed.

A purge-and-trap GC experiment might provide the information you need, however, formic acid may be lost in the trap and it is difficult to chromatograph.

An ion chromatography separation would be another option, but this equipment is not as common.

Perhaps if you gave us more information about what you are trying to do, we might have other suggestions.