Formamide (methanamide) (HCONH₂)

Formamide (methanamide) (HCONH₂)

A colorless, slightly viscous, hygroscopic liquid used in the production of formic acid, hydrogen cyanide and other organic compounds.



formamide, methanamide, amide, nitrogen-containing organic compound, primary amide, organic chemistry, chemistry

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Formamide, methanamide HCONH₂


Molar mass: 45.04 g/mol

Melting point: 2.49 °C (36.48 °F)

Boiling point: 193 °C (379.4 °F)

Density: 1.1334 g/cm³ (0.0409 lb/in³)

Heat of combustion: -565.0 kJ/mol


Formamide is the simplest primary amide. It is a colorless, slightly viscous, hygroscopic liquid, and it binds atmospheric moisture when exposed to air for a long period of time. It dissolves well in water, alcohol, ether and other organic compounds. It can dissolve many types of inorganic salts.
It forms formic acid esters with alcohol and hydroxymethyl derivatives with formaldehyde.

Occurrence and production

Formamide can be produced in a reaction of formic acid (also called methanoic acid) and ammonia, carbon monoxide and ammonia, or ammonia and methyl formate. It does not occur in nature.


Formamide is used in the production of medicines and paper, it is also used as a solvent and in the preservation of tissues through freezing.

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