Formaldehyde is an organic compound that, unlike many simple carbon compounds, can assume different forms . Because of this characteristic, formaldehyde is a common building block for the synthesis of more complex compounds. Formaldehyde assumes the chemical formula, CH2O, which basically means that it is generally composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms. The simplest form of formaldehyde is aldehyde, which is an important precursor to many other important compounds. Its molecular structure is a trigonal planar, and its related compounds are acetaldehyde, propionaldehyde, methanol, and formic acid.
While formaldehyde is generally a gas at room temperature, it can easily convert to other derivatives. On the other hand, it is also easily dissolved in water, with which its aqueous solution is known as formalin. Moreover, formaldehyde is extensively used in the production of polymers and other materials.
Although formaldehyde is known in various forms, it is more popularly known in its resin form, where it is most commonly used as a thermosetting resin or plastic. Some of the important products generated from formaldehyde are urea formaldehyde resin, phenol formaldehyde resin, melamine resin, polyoxymethylene plastics, and methylene disphenyl diisocyanate.