CHEM 1410 Section 304
Formaldehyde CHEM 1410 Research Lab
In today’s commercial industry, formaldehyde has become a major industrial chemical compound. It has climbed to the 24th spot regarding production volume in the United States on a list of major chemical industries. The chemical formula for formaldehyde is HCHO. Formaldehyde is a flammable, colorless gaseous compound with a distinct, irritating odor of about 1 ppm at room temperature. Formaldehyde has been registered by the Chemical Abstract Services (CAS) under the number “50-00-0” to distinguish the compound. The boiling point of formaldehyde is -19 degrees Centigrade and the melting point is -118 degrees Centigrade. Formaldehyde is soluble in water, alcohols, and other polar solvents. Due to its many uses, formaldehyde has grown to contribute to a large part of today’s chemical industry.
The number of applications of formaldehyde has grown extensively as new uses continue to be discovered in today’s modern chemical industry. One of the most common uses in today’s commercial industry has been to be used to preserve biological specimens. Another application of formaldehyde that has proven effective in autopsies of corpses has been titled that “sink test” in which the specimen’s lung is removed and placed in a bath of a formaldehyde solution titled formalin. If the lung floats, that indicates the deceased was most likely able to breathe at the time of death. Otherwise, if the lung does not float, the deceased was most likely unable to breathe which could stir a number of solutions to the cause of death such as strangulation. Formaldehyde has become a large contributor to today’s chemical industry thanks to its many applications.
Formaldehyde can be synthesized in several different catalytic methods, using excess methanol in the silver catalytic process or using excess air in the mixed metal oxide process. One of the first methods of synthesizing...