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A colourless gas, HCHO; r.d. 0.815 (at –20°C); m.p. –92°C; b.p. –21°C. It is the simplest aldehyde, made by the catalytic oxidation of methanol (500°C; silver catalyst) by air. It forms two polymers: methanal trimer and polymethanal. See also formalin.

Subjects: Chemistry.

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