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IUPAC name Dimethoxymethane
Other names Methylal; formal; formaldehyde dimethyl ether
CAS number 109-87-5
Molecular formula C3H8O2
Molar mass 76.1 g/mol
Appearance Colorless liquid
Density 0.860 g/mL
Melting point

-104.8 °C

Boiling point

42.3 °C

Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
materials in their standard state
(at 25 °C, 100 kPa)

Infobox disclaimer and references

Dimethoxymethane, also called methylal, is a clear colorless flammable liquid with a low boiling point, low viscosity and an excellent dissolving power. It has a chloroform-like odor and a pungent taste. It is the dimethyl acetal of formaldehyde. Dimethoxymethane is soluble in three parts water and miscible with most common organic solvents.

It can be manufactured by oxidation of methanol or by the reaction of formaldehyde with methanol. In aqueous acid, it is hydrolyzed back to formaldehyde and methanol.

It is primarily used as a solvent and in the manufacture of perfumes, resins, adhesives, paint strippers and protective coatings.

Due to the anomeric effect, dimethoxymethane has a preference toward the gauche conformation around the C–O bonds, instead of the anti conformation. Since it is one of the smallest molecules exhibiting this effect, which has great interest in carbohydrate chemistry, dimethoxymethane is often used for theoretical studies of the anomeric effect.


  • Merck Index, 11th Edition, 5936
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Dimethoxymethane". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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