Formalin is a saturated solution of formaldehyde, water, and typically
another agent, most commonly methanol. In its typical form, formalin is
37% formaldehyde by weight (40% by volume), 6-13% methanol, and the rest
water. A quick glance at any commercially available formalin product
will confirm these numbers.
Formalin is the aqueous form of formaldehyde produced mostly from
methanol by an oxidation process.
two processes known to produce formalin from methanol--methanol excess
and air excess. The basic difference between them is the catalyst
applied. The methanol excess process, called the silver process, employs
silver as the catalyst while the air excess process uses metallic oxides
of iron and molybdenum.
Formalin can be produced on a smaller scale using a whole range of other
methods including conversion from ethanol instead of the normally-fed
methanol feedstock. Such methods are of less commercial importance.
Formalin is one of the most widely and frequently used chemicals for
treating fish with fungal or ectoparasitic infections.
Formalin is used as a bath treatment to control external parasitic
infections of fish. It is extremely effective against most protozoans,
as well as some of the larger parasites such as monogenetic trematodes.
formalin-tween technique was effective for ascertaining helminths,
particularly Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura and hookworm
eggs; however it has less capability for protozoa detection. This method
is simple, inexpensive, less time consuming and highly sensitive when
detecting the parasitic infection, particularly when focusing on
Formalin is used to store biological specimens in laboratories, even
preserving human bodies in medical profession known as embalm to prevent
the tissues from natural decomposition.
Centre of Indian Consumer Protection and Research (Coinpar), a consumer
rights organisation in the city, which tested eight brands of milk
available in the market and also milk sold by cycle vendors, has
reported the presence of the chemical, formalin, in three samples.
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