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Author: Subject: Formaldehyde odor
6dthjd1
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[*] posted on 11-9-2019 at 22:00
Formaldehyde odor


Hello

Does formaldehyde have any sort of a fishy odor?

Recently after heating paraformaldehyde from campa chem vigorously with no observable decomposition, I added some sodium hydroxide to water containing some sublimed portions of probable formaldehyde and witnessed a surge in temperature with the dissolution of the sublimate with the emission of a pungent fishy like odor.
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Tsjerk
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[*] posted on 11-9-2019 at 23:13


Are you sure you have paraformaldehyde and not hexamine?
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Herr Haber
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[*] posted on 12-9-2019 at 04:10


As Tsjerk, I think you have hexamine.
Paraformaldehyde definitely doesnt smell of fish but hexamine does.

Try burning some. If it burns easily with a blue flame then you have hexamine.




The spirit of adventure was upon me. Having nitric acid and copper, I had only to learn what the words 'act upon' meant. - Ira Remsen
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Boffis
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[*] posted on 13-9-2019 at 07:12


Which country are you in? Paraformaldehyde is available as a fumigant in the UK from many farm stores and some local chemical suppliers.
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unionised
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[*] posted on 13-9-2019 at 15:45


Paraformaldehyde is a polymer of formaldehyde.
One of the things they use to catalyse the polymerisation is methylamine.
That certainly smells of fish.
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6dthjd1
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[*] posted on 19-9-2019 at 18:51


@ Boffis

I am in the U.S.

@unionised How might methylamine get in there?

What uses might hexamine serve in RV toilet disinfectant? How might the manufacturers of this Campa-Chem product introduce hexamine in there?
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draculic acid69
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[*] posted on 19-9-2019 at 23:02


Isn't that RV toilet treatment stuff paraformaldehyde solution and blue dye.why would they use hexamine? does it do what paraformaldehyde does?
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Herr Haber
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[*] posted on 20-9-2019 at 03:15


I have found 2 different formulations for that Campa Chem product. One right here on SM.
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&...
And
https://www.centralstatesbus.com/wp-content/uploads/MSDS/The...

The second one looks more interesting.
You can find the "beginning" of an explanation looking up Bronopol:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bronopol

But I suppose you found all that already.




The spirit of adventure was upon me. Having nitric acid and copper, I had only to learn what the words 'act upon' meant. - Ira Remsen
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6dthjd1
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[*] posted on 20-9-2019 at 09:48


My package mentions paraformaldehyde but not bronopol. I wonder if bronopol is habitually unlisted.
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[*] posted on 20-9-2019 at 09:52


Quote: Originally posted by 6dthjd1  


@unionised How might methylamine get in there?


The manufacturers of paraformaldehyde add methylamine to formaldehyde to catalyse the polymerisation.
They don't bother to remove (all of) it.
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ave369
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[*] posted on 24-9-2019 at 14:41


The smell of formaldehyde is stinging and very distinctive. I believe it is not possible to confuse it with fish or something.



Smells like ammonia....
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Mabus
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[*] posted on 16-10-2019 at 12:05


Yup. For some reason to me it feels like old furniture/bed with a tingling sensation. It feels familiar (I grow up surrounded by cheap communist stuff so I assume there were lots of formaldehyde-based plastics present) yet unique at the same time.



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