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Crotonaldehyde is an organic compound with the formula CH3CH=CHCHO. It is a colourless liquid with a strong, pungent odor, classified as an aldehyde. Crotonaldehyde is used in the manufacture of sorbic acid, resins, pharmaceuticals, and as a solvent. It is also a precursor to fine chemicals and is involved in the synthesis of some pesticides and fragrances. Due to its reactive double bond and aldehyde group, crotonaldehyde participates in various chemical reactions, making it a valuable intermediate in organic synthesis.

Properties[edit | edit source]

Crotonaldehyde is a highly reactive compound. It is soluble in water and most organic solvents. The compound exists in two isomeric forms, trans-crotonaldehyde, which is the more stable and common form, and cis-crotonaldehyde. The trans-isomer has a boiling point of 104°C and a melting point of -76.5°C. Crotonaldehyde is flammable, with a flash point of -26°C, and can form explosive mixtures with air.

Production[edit | edit source]

Crotonaldehyde is primarily produced through the aldol condensation of acetaldehyde. This process involves the condensation of two molecules of acetaldehyde in the presence of a base, resulting in the formation of crotonaldehyde. Another method of production is the hydroformylation of allyl alcohol, which involves the reaction of allyl alcohol with carbon monoxide and hydrogen in the presence of a catalyst.

Applications[edit | edit source]

Crotonaldehyde is used in the synthesis of sorbic acid, a food preservative. It is also a precursor to various chemicals, including pyridine derivatives, which are used in the manufacture of pesticides and pharmaceuticals. Additionally, crotonaldehyde is used in the production of resins and fragrances, owing to its ability to undergo polymerization and its characteristic odor.

Health and Safety[edit | edit source]

Exposure to crotonaldehyde can cause irritation to the eyes, skin, and respiratory system. It is also a potential carcinogen, with studies indicating that it may cause cancer in animals. Proper handling and safety measures, including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), are essential when working with crotonaldehyde. It is important to ensure adequate ventilation in areas where crotonaldehyde is used or stored to minimize exposure.

Environmental Impact[edit | edit source]

Crotonaldehyde can have adverse effects on the environment. It is toxic to aquatic life and can contribute to air and water pollution if not properly managed. Regulations and guidelines for the handling, storage, and disposal of crotonaldehyde are in place to mitigate its environmental impact.

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD