Difference Between Aldehyde and Formaldehyde

Everything is formed of atoms in nature. So naturally, everything has some compounds and chemicals are everywhere either they are produced or secreted. So in organic chemistry, there are some functional groups to separate different chemicals in different groups. Some of these are alcohols, aldehydes, etc. Here are some differences between aldehydes and formaldehyde to clear the idea about them

Aldehyde vs Formaldehyde

The main difference between the aldehyde and formaldehyde is that the aldehyde is the main functional group on the other hand the formaldehyde is the variant of aldehyde. Aldehyde has a very sweet smell but in contrast to that formaldehyde has a very pungent smell. Formaldehyde is also very complex in nature in comparison to aldehyde.

Aldehyde vs Formaldehyde

An aldehyde is a chemical that comes under the chemistry branch of science. It is a very important chemical in organic chemistry. It carries a functional group of CHO attached with R. it is also a functional group on its own known as aldehyde or sometimes it is also termed as formyl group.

Methanol is produced during the oxidation of methane. It is mostly formed during forest fires, tobacco smoke, etc. but this does not exist in nature for a long time. It gets decomposed by sunlight or any bacteria present in nature. As it exists in gaseous form it is easier to get decomposed as the bonding atomic bonding is very weak in the gaseous form of matter.

Comparison Table Between Aldehyde and Formaldehyde

Parameters of ComparisonAldehydeFormaldehyde
DefinitionIt is an organic compound which is having an R-CHO group with itIt is the simplest form of the aldehyde group. The formaldehyde always contains an H-CHO group with it
StructureIt has a special form that is it has an R group attached to a CHO groupThe specialty of this chemical is that it has one hydrogen attached to a carbonyl group
Matter typeIt normally exists in gas or liquid type matterIt is mostly found in gaseous form
SmellThis compound carries a sweet and pleasant smellThis compound carries a pungent smell
Chemical formationThe chemical formation  is comparatively simpleThe chemical formation is very complex

What is Aldehyde?

An aldehyde is a chemical that comes under the chemistry branch of science. It is a very important chemical in organic chemistry. It carries a functional group of CHO attached with R. it is also a functional group on its own known as aldehyde or sometimes it is also termed as formyl group.

This aldehyde compound or functional group has a chemical structure. The chemical structure is like it has a carbon atom (C) at the middle with three bonding. One arm of the bond has a hydrogen atom (H) connected in a single bond. The other hand has an oxygen atom (O) connected with carbon in the double bong. The third arm has the R. this R can be any other compound like formaldehyde, carbon, hydrogen, etc.

This compound usually exists in gaseous or liquid form. They have different types of characteristics and features. The variant in the characteristics is due to the remaining compound attached in the third arm of the carbon atom. If the remainder compound is small then the aldehyde is soluble in nature. Some aldehydes are also volatile in nature. Usually, aldehydes carry a very sweet and pleasant smell but it may vary depending on the remainder compound. For example, if the compound is formaldehyde then the smell will turn into a pungent smell.

What is Formaldehyde?

Formaldehyde is a special type of aldehyde and the simplest form. This compound has an aldehyde functional group attached with a hydrogen atom. Aldehyde compound or functional group has a chemical structure. 

The chemical structure is like it has a carbon atom (C) at the middle with three bonding. One arm of the bond has a hydrogen atom (H) connected in a single bond. The other hand has an oxygen atom (O) connected with carbon in the double bong. The third arm has the R. this R can be any other compound. Like in this matter this third branch has hydrogen (H).

This compound normally exists in gaseous form in nature. The IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry) name for this compound is Methanol. Methanol is produced during the oxidation of methane. It is mostly formed during forest fires, tobacco smoke, etc. but this does not exist in nature for a long time. It gets decomposed by sunlight or any bacteria present in nature. As it exists in gaseous form it is easier to get decomposed as the bonding atomic bonding is very weak in the gaseous form of matter.

The smell of formaldehyde is very pungent. It has many uses in the real world. This chemical is used as a drug tester, disinfectant, and even used for preservation. It is also used in photography to washing color photographs.

Main Differences Between Aldehyde and Formaldehyde

  1. Aldehyde is an organic compound which is having an R-CHO group with it on the other hand the formaldehyde is the simplest form of the aldehyde group. The formaldehyde always contains an H-CHO group.
  2. Aldehyde has a special form that is it has an R group attached to a CHO group but in comparison to that the specialty of formaldehyde is that it has one hydrogen attached to a carbonyl group.
  3. Aldehyde normally exists in gas or liquid type matter on the other hand formaldehyde is mostly found in gaseous form.
  4. Aldehyde carries a sweet and pleasant smell but in contrast to that formaldehyde carries a pungent smell.
  5. The chemical formation of aldehyde is comparatively simple but in comparison to that, the chemical formation of formaldehyde is very complex.

Conclusion 

Aldehyde and formaldehyde are very famous compounds in organic chemistry. Organic chemistry deals with the compounds made of hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, etc. An aldehyde is mainly a functional group. The formula of this functional group is R-CHO. When this R is substituted with h it forms the compound formaldehyde, the formula for formaldehyde is H-CHO.

Both aldehyde and formaldehyde have huge uses in the modern world. The aldehyde exits in gaseous as well s liquid but the formaldehyde exists in gaseous matter. They are secreted in nature. In modern science, they can be produced in laboratories.

References 

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0891584900002264
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/10409239209082565
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