Glyoxal is an organic
compound with the formula OCHCHO. It will be an yellow-coloured liquid and
also smallest dialdehyde.
Glyoxal, difunctional low
mole weight aldehyde, is a highly reactive intermediate used for the
preparation of copolymers, dyes, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, corrosion
inhibitors and photographic chemicals.
The preparation of anhydrous
glyoxal entails heating solid glyoxal hydrate(s) with phosphorus pentoxide.
Glyoxal may be formed in the
degradation of glucose by retroaldol condensation reactions activated by
deprotonation of the 2- or 3-hydroxy groups.
Commercial glyoxal is
prepared either by the gas phase oxidation of ethylene glycol in the
presence of a silver or copper catalyst or by the liquid phase oxidation of
acetaldehyde with nitric acid.
Glyoxal is endogenously
produced during normal cellular metabolism by a multitude of
Glyoxal is also a product of
the metabolism and microsomal oxidation of other compounds, such as
glycolaldehyde, ethylene glycol, and β- hydroxy-substituted N-nitrosamines.
Glyoxal, which attacks amino
groups of proteins, nucleotides, and lipids, is considered an important
intermediate in the formation of advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs).
Paper coatings and textiles
use large amounts of glyoxal as a crosslinker for starch-based formulations
and as a starting
material with ureas for
wrinkle-resistant chemical treatments.
It is used as a solubilizer
and cross-linking agent in polymer chemistry.
It is used in soil and cement
stabilizing and also used to improve moisture resistance in paper, leather
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