A colorless, gaseous compound that is the simplest aldehyde, used for manufacturing melamine and phenolic resins, fertilizers, dyes, and embalming fluids and in aqueous solution as a preservative and disinfectant.
Formaldehyde (systematic name: methanal) is a chemical compound with the formula CH2O. It is the simplest aldehyde. Formaldehyde also exists as the cyclic trimer trioxane and the polymer paraformaldehyde. It exists in water as the hydrate H2C(OH)2.
Paraformaldehyde is the smallest polyoxymethylene, it is the condensation product of formaldehyde with a typical degree of polymerization of 8 - 100 units. Longer chain-length (high molecular weight) polyoxymethylenes are used as thermoplastic and are known as polyoxymethylene plastic (POM, Delrin).