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Product name acetaldehyde
Synonyms ethanal
acetic aldehyde
GOST 9585-77
CAS 75-07-0

Acetaldehyde is a colorless, volatile, flammable liquid with choking odor. Smell become a fruit-like upon acetaldehyde is diluted with water. Acetaldehyde is fully miscible in water and almost organic solvents. It exhibits most of chemical properties aldehydes. It can be polymerized upon action of strong mineral acids to form trimer paraldehyde (2,4,6-trimethyl-1,3,5-trioxane) and tetramer methaldehyde (2,4,6,8-tetramethyl-1,3,5,7-tetraoxacyclooctane). Both polymers can be easily depolymerized by heating with sulfuric acid to release acetaldehyde. Ethanal acts with alcohols to form acetal CH3CH(OR')2 and semiacetal CH3CH(OR')OH. Similar thio-derivatives can be obtained by interaction with thioalcohols. It is used as a source of the CH3C+H(OH) in aldol and related condensation reactions. Its self-condensation results in acetaldol and then, after dehydratation, to crotonic aldehyde. Acetaldehyde can be easily oxidized into acetic acid. To prevent spontaneous oxidation commercial acetaldehyde is inhibited with hydroquinone or triethanolamine.


  • by liquid-phase oxidation of ethylene with oxygen. The mixture of gases is passed through water solution of palladium dichloride PdCl2 and copper dichloride CuCl2. The yield of this reaction is about 98%:

    CH2=CH2 + 1/2O2 --> CH3CHO

  • by acetylene hydratation in the presence of mercury salts (Kucherov reaction):

    HCCH + H2O --> CH3CHO

  • by ethanol oxidation;


    Acetaldehyde is used:

  • as a raw material in production of cellulose acetates, ethyl acetate, acetic acid, peroxyacetic acid, glyoxal, 2-ethylhexanol, alkyl amines, butanol;
  • for pentaerythritol C(CH2OH)4 preparation by the reaction with formaldehyde;
  • in making alkyl pyridines, 1,3-butylene glycol;
  • as a feedstock in chloral (trichloroacetaldehyde) manufacturing;
  • as a reducing agent in mirrors production;
  • as a solvent in the rubber, tanning, and paper industries;
  • as a denaturant for alcohol;
  • in fuel compositions;

  • Manufacturer(s) JSC Omsky kauchuk
    Chemical structure of acetaldehyde

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