formaldehyde

/fawr mal"deuh huyd', feuhr-/, n. Chem.
a colorless, toxic, potentially carcinogenic, water-soluble gas, CH2O, having a suffocating odor, usually derived from methyl alcohol by oxidation: used chiefly in aqueous solution, as a disinfectant and preservative, and in the manufacture of various resins and plastics. Also called methanal. Cf. formalin.
[1870-75; FORM(IC) + ALDEHYDE; modeled on G Formaldehyd]

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Simplest aldehyde, chemical formula HCHO. Formaldehyde (37%) in water solution, called formalin, is used as a preservative, an embalming agent, and a disinfectant.

Large amounts of formaldehyde are used in the manufacture of various familiar plastics. Bakelite (the first completely synthetic plastic) is the trademark for formaldehyde and phenol polymer, and Formica is the trademark for formaldehyde and urea polymer. The reaction of formaldehyde with proteins (called amino formylation) leads to its use in the tanning industry and for treating various vegetable proteins to render them fibrous.

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also called  methanal (formulated HCHO) 

      an organic compound, the simplest of the aldehydes, used in large amounts in a variety of chemical manufacturing processes. It is produced principally by the vapour-phase oxidation of methanol and is commonly sold as formalin, a 37 percent aqueous solution. Formalin may be dehydrated to trioxane, a crystalline trimer, or to an amorphous polymer, paraformaldehyde, which is a convenient source of gaseous formaldehyde.

      Formaldehyde and ammonia yield methenamine, or hexamethylenetetramine, which is used as a urinary antiseptic. Nitration of methenamine gives the explosive cyclonite, or RDX. Formaldehyde and acetaldehyde react in the presence of calcium hydroxide to give pentaerythritol, the tetranitrate of which is the explosive PETN. Large quantities of formaldehyde are used in the manufacture of urea–formaldehyde, phenol–formaldehyde, and acetal resins. The reaction of formaldehyde with proteins leads to its use in the tanning industry and in treating various vegetable proteins to render them fibrous. The reactivity with proteins is also the basis for the use of formaldehyde as a disinfectant, an embalming agent, and a soil sterilant.

      Pure formaldehyde is a colourless, flammable gas with a strong pungent odour; it is extremely irritating to the mucous membranes.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • formaldéhyde — [ fɔrmaldeid ] n. m. • 1893; de form(ique) et aldéhyde ♦ Chim. Aldéhyde formique, gaz incolore et irritant (HCHO), utilisé en solution comme désinfectant (⇒ formol) et dans la synthèse organique. ● formaldéhyde nom masculin Aldéhyde CH2≅O. ●… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Formaldehyde — For*mal de*hyde, n. [Formic + aldehyde.] (Chem.) A colorless, volatile liquid, {H2CO}, resembling acetic or ethyl aldehyde, and chemically intermediate between methyl alcohol and formic acid. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • formaldehyde — formaldehyde. См. формальдегид. (Источник: «Англо русский толковый словарь генетических терминов». Арефьев В.А., Лисовенко Л.А., Москва: Изд во ВНИРО, 1995 г.) …   Молекулярная биология и генетика. Толковый словарь.

  • formaldehyde — pungent gas formed by oxidation of methyl alcohol, 1869, a contraction of formic aldehyde; see FORMIC (Cf. formic) + ALDEHYDE (Cf. aldehyde). Discovered in 1863 by German chemist August Wilhelm von Hofmann (1818 1892) …   Etymology dictionary

  • formaldehyde — ► NOUN Chemistry ▪ a colourless pungent gas derived from methanol, used in solution as a preservative for biological specimens. ORIGIN blend of FORMIC ACID(Cf. ↑formic acid) and ALDEHYDE(Cf. ↑aldehyde) …   English terms dictionary

  • formaldehyde — [fôr mal′də hīd΄, fərmal′də hīd΄] n. [ FORM(IC) + ALDEHYDE] a pungent gas, HCHO, used in solution as a strong disinfectant and preservative, and in the manufacture of synthetic resins, dyes, etc …   English World dictionary

  • Formaldehyde — For other uses, see Formaldehyde (disambiguation). Formaldehyde …   Wikipedia

  • Formaldehyde — Méthanal Méthanal Représentation du méthanal …   Wikipédia en Français

  • formaldehyde — Aldehyde Al de*hyde ([a^]l d[ e]*h[imac]d), n. [Abbrev. fr. alcohol dehydrogenatum, alcohol deprived of its hydrogen.] 1. (Chem.) A colorless, mobile, and very volatile liquid obtained from alcohol by certain processes of oxidation. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • formaldehyde — Commonly used fixative and antibacterial agent. As a fixative it is cheap and tends to cause less denaturation of proteins than does glutaraldehyde, particularly if used in a well buffered solution (buffered formalin, formal saline). Old… …   Dictionary of molecular biology

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