Bromine water oxidizes this substance to oxalic acid and tetrabromdichloracetone (5).
It extracts the elements of water from formic acid, giving carbon monoxide; from oxalic acid, giving a mixture of carbon monoxide and dioxide; from alcohol, to give ether or ethylene according to the conditions of the experiment; and from many oxygenated compounds (e.g.
Lavoisier, to whom chemistry was primarily the chemistry of oxygen compounds, having developed the radical theory initiated by Guyton de Morveau, formulated the hypothesis that vegetable and animal substances were oxides of radicals composed of carbon and hydrogen; moreover, since simple radicals (the elements) can form more than one oxide, he attributed the same character to his hydrocarbon radicals: he considered, for instance, sugar to be a neutral oxide and oxalic acid a higher oxide of a certain radical, for, when oxidized by nitric acid, sugar yields oxalic acid.
Oxamide, (CONH 2) 2, is best prepared by the action of ammonia on the esters of oxalic acid.
The acid when fused with caustic alkalies yields oxalic acid.
It oxidizes readily: exposure to air giving acrylic acid, nitric acid giving oxalic acid, bichromate of potash and sulphuric acid giving carbon dioxide and formic acid.
Succinic anhydride, C 2 H 4 (CO) 2 0, is obtained by heating the acid or its sodium salt with acetic anhydride; by the action of acetyl chloride on the barium salt; by distilling a mixture of succinic acid and succinyl chloride, or by heating succinyl chloride with anhydrous oxalic acid.
When distilled over lead oxide, it forms diphenylene oxide, (C 6 H 4) 2 O: and when heated with oxalic acid and concentrated sulphuric acid, it forms aurin, C19H1403.
It is somewhat readily oxidized; nitric acid gives carbonic and oxalic acids, and chromic acid, carbonic and acetic acids.
Chromium oxychloride reacts violently on phenol, producing hydroquinone ether, O(C 6 H 4 OH)2; chromic acid gives phenoquinone, and potassium permanganate gives paradiphenol, oxalic acid, and some salicylic acid (R.