Paraformaldehyde Chemical Properties
- Melting point:
- 175 °C
- Boiling point:
- 107.25°C (rough estimate)
- 0.88 g/mL at 25 °C(lit.)
- vapor density
- 1.03 (vs air)
- vapor pressure
- <1.45 mm Hg ( 25 °C)
- refractive index
- 1.4540 (estimate)
- Flash point:
- 158 °F
- storage temp.
- chlorophenol above 70°C: soluble
- White to off-white
- 5.5 (H2O, 20℃)(saturated solution)
- explosive limit
- Water Solubility
- sparingly soluble
- Stable. Incompatible with strong acids, organic acids, strong oxidizing agents, oxides, alkalies, strong bases, amines. Combustible. Dust may form an explosive mixture with air. Liberates poisonous gases on combustion.
- EPA Substance Registry System
- Paraformaldehyde (30525-89-4)
- Hazard Codes
- Risk Statements
- Safety Statements
- UN 2213 4.1/PG 3
- WGK Germany
- Autoignition Temperature
- 572 °F
- HS Code
- Hazardous Substances Data
- 30525-89-4(Hazardous Substances Data)
- LD50 orally in Rabbit: 592 mg/kg
Paraformaldehyde Usage And Synthesis
Paraformaldehyde is a white crystalline solid. Irritating odor. The term “trioxane” applies specifically to this trimer (CH2O)3 but paraformaldehyde is applied both to trioxane and other low polymers or oligomers of formaldehyde.
For disinfecting sickrooms, clothing, linen, and sickroom utensils. Active ingredient of contraceptive creams. Also used as fumigant; in dentistry; in manufacture of synthetic resins and artificial horn or ivory.
Paraformaldehyde is used as a agricultural chemical, fungicide, bactericide, and wood preservative.
ChEBI: A macromolecule composed of repeating methyleneoxy units arising from polymerisation of formaldehyde.
A white solid with a light pungent odor. A linear polymer of formaldehyde of formula HO(CH2 O)xH where x averages about 30. Soluble in water when x is less than 12; higher polymers are not immediately soluble. Slow dissolution in water proceeds by means of hydrolysis to give fragments of lower x. Flammable, although may take some effort to ignite. Flash point 158°F. Used in fungicides, bactericides, and in the manufacture of adhesives. A hazard to the environment. Immediate steps should be taken to limit spread to the environment.
Air & Water Reactions
Flammable. Forms aqueous solution of formaldehyde, often quite slowly.
Paraformaldehyde may react violently with strong oxidizing agents (hydrogen peroxide, performic acid, perchloric acid in the presence of aniline, potassium permanganate, nitromethane). May react with bases (sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide, ammonia), and with nitrogen dioxide (explosive reaction around 180°C). Reacts with hydrochloric acid to form highly toxic bis(chloromethyl) ether. Polymerization reaction with phenol may develop sudden destructive pressure [Bretherick, 5th ed., 1995, p.168]. May generate flammable and/or toxic gases in combination with azo, diazo compounds, dithiocarbamates, nitrides, and strong reducing agents. Generates toxic formaldehyde gas when heated. Can react with air to give first peroxo acids, and ultimately formic acid. These reactions are activated by light, catalyzed by salts of transition metals, and are autocatalytic (catalyzed by the products of the reaction). Incompatible with liquid oxygen.
Vapor or dust irritates eyes, mucous membranes, and skin; may cause dermatitis. Ingestion of solid or of a solution in water irritates mouth, throat, and stomach and may cause death.
Behavior in Fire: Changes to formaldehyde gas, which is highly flammable.
Moderately toxic by ingestion. A severe eye and skin irritant. Mutation data reported. Flammable when exposed to heat or flame; can react with oxidzing materials. To fight fire, use alcohol foam, COr, dry chemical. Incompatible with liquid oxygen. Dangerous; when heated to decomposition it emits toxic formaldehyde gas. See also FORMALDEHYDE.
Paraformaldehyde is used in polyacetal resin manufacture; as a food additive; and as an odorless fuel.
UN2213 Paraformaldehyde, Hazard Class: 4.1; Labels: 4.1-Flammable solid.
Paraformaldehyde dust forms an explosive mixture with air. Decomposes on contact with oxidizers, strong acids; acid fumes; and bases; with elevated temperatures, forming formaldehyde. May explode when heated. May explode on impact if peroxide contamination develops. Mixtures with hydrogen peroxide or liquid oxygen are explosives sensitive to heat, shock, or contact with lead.
Dissolve or mix the material with a combustible solvent and burn in a chemical incinerator equipped with an afterburner and scrubber. All federal, state, and local environmental regulations must be observed.
Paraformaldehyde Preparation Products And Raw materials
- Tosylmethyl isocyanide
- 2,4-PENTANEDIONE, SILVER DERIVATIVE
- 1,1,3,3-TETRAMETHYLBUTYL ISOCYANIDE
- METHYL ISOCYANOACETATE
- Aluminum acetylacetonate
- COBALT(II) ACETYLACETONATE
- BENZYL ISOCYANIDE
- TERT-BUTYL ISOCYANIDE
- Ethyl isocyanoacetate
- Ferric acetylacetonate
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