Acetaldehyde is also known as the ethanol and it is defined as the chemical compound used for the preparation of food as a flavoring agent. The chemical formula for the compound is
CH3CHO. The molecular weight could be defined as the
44.053 g mL-1. This is a common functional group and the second most common aldehyde after formaldehyde.
The molecule has the planar-trigonal structure to form a tetrahedral geometry and its chemical structure could be written as below.
The compound is found in many plants and ripe fruits. It is also used as an intermediate in ethanol metabolism formed by the action of enzymes alcohol which transforms ethanol to the acetaldehyde. The compound was commonly prepared by dehydrogenation of ethanol that reacts over a copper catalyst at 260 to 280 degree Celsius.
CH3CH2OH + 1/2 O2 → CH3CHO + H2O
Further, it is mostly used for the hydration of acetylene or ethylene by Wacker Process. This is a colorless liquid with pungent odor whose melting or boiling points are generally calculated as
-123 ºC and
20.2 ºC and its density is
0.784 g mL-1. It is miscible in water, ethanol, benzene, acetone etc. it is slightly soluble in the chloroform.
This is defined as an important precursor in the organic synthesis process, especially as the electrophile. It offers condensation reaction to obtain intermediates that are further used along organic synthesis process. Moreover, acetaldehyde is an important building block of the synthesis of heterocycles like pyridines or imines etc.