Aldehyde is a term derived from the English word aldehyde. This word is an acronym for a Latin expression: alcohol dehydrogenatum. In this sense, we can expose, therefore, that it comes from an expression such as “dehydrogenated alcohol”.
Aldehydes are organic chemical compounds that arise when certain alcohols are oxidized.
As the aforementioned Latin expression suggests, an aldehyde is a dehydrogenated alcohol: that is, it has lost hydrogen atoms. Aldehydes have a formyl functional group, which is formed when a hydrogen atom is separated from the compound known as formaldehyde.
To name aldehydes, the ending -ol that has the name of the hydrocarbon is removed and -al is added. In this way, according to the nomenclature of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, one can speak of aldehydes as methanal (or formaldehyde, according to the trivial nomenclature), ethanal (acetaldehyde) or propanal (propaldehyde), for name the simplest according to their carbon number.
Aldehydes can act as reducers. Thus, they are used in different industries to produce paints, dyes, solvents and plastics, among other elements. It can also be used as a preservative and to obtain compounds such as melamine or bakelite.
No less important is that, in addition to what has been explained so far, they can also be used with other equally significant uses:
-To carry out the creation of explosives of various kinds such as the so-called TNPE.
-To create the technical-type plastics that are routinely used to achieve the replacement of metal parts in both machinery and automobiles.
-In the same way, it should not be overlooked that they are also used within the field of perfumery.
It is important to mention that aldehydes can be formed through various natural processes. When a person ingests a high amount of alcoholic beverages and then feels the discomfort known as a hangover, this sensation could be due to the acetaldehyde that is produced during metabolism, according to some studies on the subject.
In addition to everything indicated, we can highlight another important series of data about aldehydes, such as the following:
-The formula that, as a general rule, identifies them is this: CnH2n + 1CHO.
-The boiling point that must be underlined that the aforementioned aldehydes have is above that of the alkanes, but it is lower than that of the alcohols.
-Among those that end in -al, we can highlight some such as ethanal, propanal, methanal or butenal.
-When there are two groups of aldehydes, they are given the ending “-dial”. This would be the case of the pentodial or the butanodial.
-In particular, it is determined that the most frequent ways or processes through which aldehydes are formed are carbonylation, dehydrogenation and oxidation of alcohols and also what is known as oxidation of alkyl halides.