Views: 0 Author: Site Editor Publish Time: 2023-09-08 Origin: Site
Formamide, also known as methanamide, is a derivative of formic acid that belongs to a group of molecules called amides.
These are carbon-based molecules that contain a carbonyl group – a carbon molecule doubly attached to an oxygen molecule – with a nitrogen molecule attached to it.
The chemical formula of formamide is CH3AT THE. It is formed when the carbon in the carbonyl group (C = O) binds to a hydrogen atom (H) and an amine group (NH2).
There are two ways to produce formamide.
The first way is to add ammonia to formic acid to produce an intermediate, ammonium formate, which is then heated to produce formamide.
Another way to make it is to add ammonia to methyl formate, which produces formamide as well as methanol.
This substance has several distinct physical characteristics.
In its natural form, it is a clear liquid that is miscible with water, meaning that it can be mixed equally into a solution with water.
It has a strong odor very similar to ammonia. When heated, it breaks down into carbon monoxide and ammonia. If heated quickly to high temperatures, it can form hydrogen cyanide and water vapor.
Formamide is an industrial chemical that has many different uses in a variety of fields.
In pharmaceuticals, it is often used during the production of sulfa and some vitamins.
Formamide is also used in papermaking as a softener to break down fibers and soften different types of paper.
Furthermore, it is capable of dissolving compounds formed from ions, so it is often used as a solvent.
In genetics and molecular biology, this chemical is often used to break down nucleic acids – the units that make up DNA and RNA.
The breakdown of DNA and RNA occurs during processes such as sequencing the DNA or RNA molecule, as well as viewing the molecules under an electron microscope.
It is also used to form complexes of DNA and DNA, DNA and RNA and RNA and RNA, called hybridizations.
There are safety issues that must be addressed by anyone using formamide.
It is highly corrosive, can cause excessive burns to the skin and eyes, and can be fatal if swallowed.
This chemical is known to cause birth defects, so it should be avoided by women in the early stages of pregnancy
Formamide is an organic solvent that allows the denaturation and renaturation of nucleic acids at room temperature.
This is particularly useful for protocols where reaction times are long and high temperatures would damage biological activity through chain scissions and depurination, etc.
Formamide reduces the thermal stability of double-stranded nucleic acids and is commonly used for DNA renaturation or DNA-RNA hybridization.
The specificity and speed of the reaction are determined by the concentration of formamide and the temperature of the reaction.
Formamide, the simplest carboxylic acid amide, is a viscous, odorless and colorless liquid with a melting point of 2°C and a boiling point of 210°C. When heated to 180°C at atmospheric pressure, however, it begins to decompose into carbon dioxide and ammonia.
In 1920, K H. Meyer and L. Orthmer discovered that formamide could be produced by heating CO2 and NH3 under pressure – the inverse of the decomposition reaction. Today, some formamide is still made this way, but the most common process uses the reaction of methyl formate with NH3.
The methanol by-product is treated with carbon monoxide to produce additional methyl formate.
Formamide is used as a raw material in the manufacture of formate esters, as an ionizing solvent, as an RNA stabilizer in gel electrophoresis, and in tissue preservation.
Most intriguing is that it may be a key compound in the origin of life on earth.
In 2014, chemist S. Civiš and colleagues at the Central European Institute of Technology (Brno, Czech Republic) simulated asteroid and meteor collisions by bombarding formamide and clay with a powerful laser.
They produced (among many other compounds) guanine, adenine, cytosine and uracil – the four nitrogen bases that make up DNA.
Formamide is found in large quantities throughout the observable universe, giving credence to the idea that life on earth may have originated outside the planet.