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Brief Introduction to Formaldehyde


Formaldehyde is the simplest of the aldehydes, chemical compounds that include a terminal carbonyl group. A carbonyl group is a group of atoms that includes a carbon atom double-bonded to an oxygen atom; the chemical formula for formaldehyde is HCHO, making it a useful building block for other, more complex aldehydes. Pure formaldehyde is a colorless gaseous compound, and it is extremely reactive. For this reason, it is often mixed into other chemical compounds to form a stable substance.
Formaldehyde is a chemical compound that is widely used in industrial manufacturing and a number of other industries. Many people are familiar with it in the form of formalin, an aqueous solution of formaldehyde that is used as an embalming preservative. It is used in pressed-wood products, such as particleboard, plywood, and fiberboard; glues and adhesives; permanent-press fabrics; paper product coatings; and certain insulation materials. In addition, formaldehyde is commonly used as an industrial fungicide, germicide, and disinfectant, and as a preservative in mortuaries and medical laboratories. Formaldehyde also occurs naturally in the environment. It is produced in small amounts by most living organisms as part of normal metabolic processes.
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