Formaldehyde

Definition - What does Formaldehyde mean?

Formaldehyde refers to a gaseous chemical substance that is colorless and poisonous in nature. Formaldehyde has the chemical formula CH2O and is formed via the oxidation of methanol. It is widely used as a disinfectant and general-purpose chemical reagent, and may cause corrosion in several metals.

Corrosionpedia explains Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is used mainly as a chemical intermediate. It has minor uses in the agricultural industry as an analytical reagent. It is also used as a concrete and plaster additive and as a disinfectant surface cleaner. One of the most common industrial uses of formaldehyde is manufacturing urea-formaldehyde resins that are used in particleboard products.

Some chemical and physical properties of formaldehyde:

  • Molecular weight: 30.03 g/mol
  • Vapor pressure: 10 mm Hg at -88°C (-126°F)
  • Log octanol/water partition coefficient (log K ): -0.65
  • Pungent, suffocating odor at room temperature; odor threshold: 0.83 ppm
  • Readily soluble in water at room temperature
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