Formaldehyde and all about it.

Essay by a67smJunior High, 9th gradeA+, May 2003

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Formaldehyde is a colorless gas chemical that was first used for making stained glass. In 1872, Adolf von Baeyer was able to mix it with phenol to form a plastic. Today, formaldehyde is used in many common products in addition to plastics, including fertilizers, preservatives, explosives, mirrors, wood glue, water proofing, circuit boards, and even shampoo. Formaldehyde is also sometimes used in preserving dead bodies, but newer more efficient ways have been developed. At one time it was used in the testing of nuclear bombs.

Formaldehyde is very toxic. You will die if you swallow anywhere from 10 to 20 milliliters of concentrated formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is very flammable when in high concentrations. It is also found in small quantities within the human body. 400 liters of Formaldehyde are water soluble to 1 liter of water. Therefore Formaldehyde is very water soluble. Formaldehyde is also called methanal which is different that the chemical methanol which is used in the production of formaldehyde.

Formaldehyde is produced from another chemical, methanol. To create formaldehyde methanol must be dehydrogenized. Among major industrial chemicals Formaldehyde ranks 24th in production volume per year in the US.

There are many ways to get poisoned by exposure to Formaldehyde. A person can get a death dose from breathing in a large amount of it as well as swallowing or getting it on the skin. A person with Formaldehyde exposure will have symptoms not that different from common illnesses like a cold. The symptoms include fever, dizziness, and anxiety.

Formaldehyde can be created in two different ways using either Metal Oxide or Silver Catalyst production methods. Both of these methods are very complex. Formaldehyde is used in other ways besides alone. These require a separate production method. Some of the chemical compounds which include...