Chemical formula: CH2O
Chemical name (synonyms):
Description and application:
Formalin – formalin) – an aqueous solution of methylene glycol (formaldehyde), stabilized with methyl alcohol. It contains 35-40 % formaldehyde, 52 % water and 8% methanol. It is available in the form of a clear, colorless liquid with a characteristic pungent smell.
The material is prepared by the reaction of air oxygen with methanol in the form of vapors in the presence of catalysts (copper or silver). The resulting compound may contain impurities of formic or acetic acid, acetone. Formalin has a slightly acidic reaction and is an active reducing agent. It is soluble in water and alcohols in any concentrations.
It has strong bactericidal, disinfectant, antiseptic, deodorizing, cauterizing and astringent properties. It is able to cause protein folding and prevent their decomposition.
The material is widely used in industry and in medicine. In particular, it is used for: