What is Formaldehyde?
Formaldehyde is the simplest aldehyde made of hydrogen, carbon and oxygen with the formula CH2O.
Formaldehyde is one of a large family of chemicals known as volatile organic compounds which evaporates and become gaseous at room temperature.
Formaldehyde is a reactive molecule and first in the series of aliphatic aldehydes. It is one of the most important industrial chemicals. Formaldehyde is usually described as a gas, but it also exists dissolved in water or other solvents. Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring substance used in a wide variety of applications.
Other names – formalin, methanal, formol
|Molecular Weight/ Molar Mass||30.031 g/mol|
|Boiling Point||-19 °C|
|Melting Point||-92.0 oC|
Formaldehyde Structure – CH2O
Physical Properties of Formaldehyde – CH2O
|Hydrogen Bond Acceptor||1|
|Solubility||Soluble in water and acetone.|
Chemical Properties of Formaldehyde – CH2O
- Formaldehyde reacts with a base like sodium hydroxide forms sodium formate and methanol. The chemical equation is given below.
2HCHO + NaOH → HCOONa + CH3OH
- Formaldehyde reacts with ammonia forms formamidine and water. The chemical equation is given below.
6HCHO + 4NH3 → (CH2)6N4 + 6H2O
Uses of Formaldehyde – CH2O
- Used in the production of resins, principally urea formaldehyde and phenol-formaldehyde, which are used to make cores and moulds for foundries.
- Used in agriculture and medicine where it is used as a disinfectant, fungicide, fumigant and preservatives.
- Formaldehyde is used to produce a wide array of products, particularly building materials.
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