Structure of Methyl Formate

Acid-catalyed water elimination from the tetrahedral intermediate results in the formation of methyl formate. The C-O s-trans conformation of the ester is formed initially and later converted to the more stable C-O s-cis conformation. The transfer of a proton to water requires 21.2 kcal/mol.

Figure. The MP2(full)/6-31G* optimized structure of methyl formate with the C-O s-trans conformation.