Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V01, Page 531 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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ALDEHYDES, a class of chemical compounds of the general formula R•CHO (R = an alkyl or an aryl group). The name is derived from alcohol dehydrogenatum in allusion to the fact that they may be prepared by the oxidation of alcohols. The lower members of the series are neutral liquids possessing a characteristic smell; they are soluble in water and are readily volatile (formaldehyde, however, is a gas at ordinary temperatures). As the carbon content of the molecule increases; they become less soluble in water, and their smell becomes less marked with the increase in boiling point, the highest members of the series being odourless solids, which can only be distilled without decomposition in vacuo, CRRI CRR' [ --> 0< CH•COOC2H6 CH.000H CO2+CHRR'•CHO. In the German Patent 157573 (1904) it is shown that by the action of at least two molecular proportions of an alkyl formate on two molecular proportions of a magnesium alkyl or aryl haloid, a complex addition compound is formed, which readily decomposes into a basic magnesium salt and an aldehyde, C615MgBr+HCOOR—> RO• CH • C6H5.OMgBr—>MgBr•OR+
End of Article: ALDEHYDES

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