Glyoxal is an organic compound with the chemical formula OCHCHO. 
It is the smallest dialdehyde (a compound with two aldehyde groups). It is a crystalline solid, white at low temperatures and yellow near the melting point (15 °C). 
The liquid is yellow, and the vapor is green.

Pure glyoxal is not commonly encountered because it forms hydrates, which oligomerize. For many purposes, these hydrated oligomers behave equivalently to glyoxal.
It is produced industrially as a precursor to many products.

Glyoxal 40%

Formula : C2H2O2

Physical form
Anhydrous glyoxal is a liquid at ambient temperature; it crystallizes at 15 °C in the form of yellow prismatic crystals. 

Molecular weight : 58.04 

Solubility: Very soluble in water (600 g/l), miscible in water in all ratios (40% aqueous solution), soluble in ethanol and ethyl ether 

Organoleptic properties : Colourless, deliquescent powder (pure substance) colourless liquid (40% solution)
Melting point : 15 C (pure substance), -10vC (40% solution)
Boiling point : 50.4 C (pure substance), 105 C (40% solution)

Vapour pressure : 293.3 hPa at 20 C (pure substance), < 10-4 kPa (40% solution)
Density : 1.14 g/cm3 at 20oC (pure substance), 1.27 g/cm3 (40% solution)
pH : 2.1 – 2.7 (20 C, 40% solution)
Stability : 40% aqueous solution of glyoxal is stable at room temperature at least for 6 months, when stored in dark 

Purity, composition, and substance codes
Anhydrous Glyoxal can only be produced in the laboratory and does not exist in a stable form.
Glyoxal is commonly supplied in the form of aqueous solution at 40% (w/w) (expressed in CHOCHO). 
Less concentrated forms have been formerly commercialized (essentially at 30% w/w). Very small quantities of an 80% powder are produced (less than 0.1 % of the marketed quantities).
The hydrated monomer (ethane bis-gemdiol) is the main form of glyoxal in aqueous solution.
However this gemdiol tends to polymerize to acetals and semiacetals. The polymerisation depends on both the pH and the concentration of the solution. 
The main oligomeric forms are the dioxolane dimer and the bis(dioxolane) trimer.
The equilibrium between monomer and dimer and trimer depends largely on the glyoxal concentration in the aqueous solution:
- in a 5% solution, 39% of glyoxal is present in the monomer form;
- in a 40% solution, the monomer (I) content amounts to as little as 11% of glyoxal, the dimer (II) and trimer (III) forms being dominant.
The nature of the impurities depends on the synthesis route used. If the process used is the oxidation of acetaldehyde with nitric acid diluted in an aqueous medium, the main impurities are the following:
• <200 ppm formaldehyde
• formic acid, acetic acid, glyoxalin acid and glycolic acid - in total approximately 1500 ppm
If the process used is the oxidation of 1,2-ethanediol with oxygen in the presence of water, glyoxal is mainly contaminated with:
• 5000 ppm hydroxyacetaldehyde
• 1500 ppm 1,2-ethanediol
• approximately 1000-2000 ppm organic acids
Former production processes yielded glyoxal with acid contents of up to 2.1% total acids and 1000 ppm of formaldehyde. 

Function and uses
Glyoxal is marketed mainly as a 40% aqueous solution. Glyoxal is used as starting point for the production of a number of other compounds.
The dual functionality and the ability of glyoxal to form heterocyclic compounds are used in the production of resins and for cross-linking functionalized macromolecules such as cellulose, polyacrylamides, polyvinyl alcohol, keratin
and other polycondensates. With cellulose, unstable hemiacetals are obtained in the cold, which irreversibly form acetals when heated in the presence of acid catalysts.
In Annex I of the Cosmetic Directive several cosmetic products using hydroxyl-ethyl cellulose R-types are listed (e.g., creams, emulsions, lotions, gels and oils for skin, face masks, tinted bases, different powders (make-up, after bath, hygienic), hair-care products (tints, bleaches, cleansing and conditioning products), shaving products, sunbathing, tanning etc.).
The maximum glyoxal level is 100 ppm in the cosmetic product. In finished cosmetic products, glyoxal is present only as residual from polymerising reactions. 

Odor: characteristic
Use: Glyoxal shows a wide range of activities, e.g. as a versatile crosslinker, as an intermediate for organic syntheses, as a biocide, and as a scavenger for a diverse range of nucleophiles.

Glyoxal is an organic compound with a complex structure. In its liquid state it is yellow in color and when it evaporates it turns to a green colored gas. The compound is often a preferred choice for use in many different types of manufacturing.
The substance is available for purchase to those who use it in the manufacturing of their products.

Chemical Properties

The chemical formula for Glyoxal is OCHCHO or C2H2O2. It’s the smallest dialdehyde which is a more complex structure. 
The compound is commonly prepared using the Laporte process or through the liquid-phase oxidation of acetaldehyde with nitric acid. 
It was first produced commercially in France in 1960.

Since then, there have been many uses found for this compound. It is used in a great many instances as a solubilizer, an agent that increases the solubility of a substance.
 For this reason it is used commonly as an additive to many commercial formulas where increased solubility is desired.

It is also known as ethanedial or ethane 1,2-dione. Another common name is Glyoxyladehyde. It is provided as SDS Glyoxal40; it has 40% strength. It is a colorless, transparent liquid with a content of 40% plus or minus .5%.


Glyoxal is used to crosslink starch-based formulas in textile finishes and in coated paper. It’s also used in textile production, leather tanning, cosmetics, epoxy, oil and gas industries and disinfection. Glyoxylic acid has industrial uses including the curing of wood and wood hardening.   It is also used as a fixative in a method of preserving cells for examination under a microscope. Various concentrations are used in different types of uses.

There are many specific uses in the manufacturing of various products. For example, it is used in disinfectants that are used both in the health industry and for veterinary hygiene. When used in cosmetics it improves the viscosity of the products. In leather production, it helps preserve the leather quality. It is often used in epoxy to give it more stability and better performance.

It is also accredited for use in the manufacture of food packaging. It is important to note that it is readily biodegradable when used according to OECD guidelines.


Chemical Properties: colourless or light yellow liquid
Uses : Permanent-press fabrics; dimensional stabilization of rayon and other fibers. Insolubilizing agent for compounds containing polyhydroxyl groups (polyvinyl alcohol, starch, and cellulosic materials); insolubilizing of proteins (casein, gelatin, and animal glue); embalming fluids; leather tanning; paper coatings with hydroxyethylcellulose; reducing agent in dyeing textiles.
Uses: Glyoxal is used in the production of textiles and glues and in organic synthesis.

Definition: ChEBI: The dialdehyde that is the smallest possible and which consists of ethane having oxo groups on both carbons.

General Description : Yellow crystals melting at15°C. Hence often encountered as a light yellow liquid with a weak sour odor. Vapor has a green color and burns with a violet flame.

Air & Water Reactions: Mixtures with air may explode. Polymerizes quickly on standing, or on contact with a trace of water (possibly a violent reaction), or when dissolved in solvents containing water, [Merck, 502(1968)]. Soluble in water. An aqueous solution contains mono molecular Glyoxal. [Hawley]
Reactivity Profile: Glyoxal reacts vigorously with strong oxidizing agents such as nitric acid. Polymerizes rapidly even at low temperature if anhydrous [Noller]. Aqueous solutions are more stable but also polymerize on standing. Reacts with itself in the presence of base to give glyconates. Undergoes addition and condensation reactions that may be exothermic with amines, amides, aldehydes, and hydroxide-containing materials. Mixing in equal molar portions with any of the following substances in a closed container caused the temperature and pressure to increase: chlorosulfonic acid, oleum, ethyleneimine, nitric acid, sodium hydroxide [NFPA 1991].
Hazard: Mixture of vapor and air may explode. Questionable carcinogen.
Health Hazard: Glyoxal is a skin and eye irritant; the effectmay be mild to severe. Its vapors are irritatingto the skin and respiratory tract. Anamount of 1.8 mg caused severe irritation inrabbits’ eyes. Glyoxal exhibited low toxicityin test subjects. Ingestion may cause somnolenceand gastrointestinal pain.
LD50 value, oral (guinea pigs): 760 mg/kg.
Health Hazard: Inhalation causes some irritation of nose and,40% solution throat. Contact with liquid,40% solution irritates eyes and causes mild irritation of skin; stains skin yellow. (No information available on symptoms of ingestion.)
Fire Hazard: Behavior in Fire: Heat may cause polymerization to a combustible, viscous material.
Safety Profile: Low toxicity by SYN: AEROTEX GLYOXAL 40 ingestion and skin contact. A skin irritant. A powerful reducing agent. May explode on contact with air. Polymerizes violently on contact with water. During storage it may spontaneously polymerize and ignite. Reacts violently with chlorosulfonic acid, ethylene imine, HNO3, oleum, NaOH, can cause violent reactions. Can explode during manufacture. When heated to decomposition it emits acrid smoke and irritating fumes. See also ALDEHYDES.
Waste Disposal: Glyoxal is mixed with a combustible solventand burned in a chemical incineratorequipped with an afterburner and scrubber.

     ethane dial
1,2-    ethanedione
     glyoxal aldehyde

Preferred IUPAC name
Other names

CAS Number    
107-22-2 check

Chemical formula: C2H2O2
Molar mass: 58.036 g·mol−1
Density: 1.27 g/cm3
Melting point: 15 °C 
Boiling point: 51 °C 
Heat capacity (C): 1.044 J/(K·g)
Flash point: −4 °C 
Autoignition temperature: 285 °C 

Related aldehydes    acetaldehyde
Related compounds    glyoxylic acid
glycolic acid
oxalic acid
pyruvic acid


Molecular Weight: 58.04 g/mol

Name:    oxaldehyde
CAS Number:107-22-2    
Other:    83513-30-8

Molecular Weight:58.03634000
Formula:C2 H2 O
Cosmetic Uses:    antimicrobial agents

Primary name and/or INCI name: Glyoxal (INCI name)

Chemical names: Ethandial (IUPAC), Biformal, Biformyl, Diformyl, 1,2-Ethandial, Ethanedione, Glyoxalaldehyde, Glyoxal aldehyde, Oxal, Oxalaldehyde, Oxaldehyde, Odix
Trade names and abbreviations: Aerotex Glyoxal 40, Daicel GY 60, Glyfix CS 50, Glyoxal 40, Glyoxal P, Gohsezal P, Odix, Parez 802, Permafresh 144, Protectol GL

CAS : 107-22-2
EINECS : 203-474-9

Glyoxal can undertake rotational isomerization between the planar cis and trans conformations,with trans-glyoxal being the more stable isomer 
Glyoxal 40%
Odor: characteristic
Use: Glyoxal shows a wide range of activities, e.g. as a versatile crosslinker, as an intermediate for organic syntheses, as a biocide, and as a scavenger for a diverse range of nucleophiles.

Odor: characteristic
Use: Glyoxal links a wide range of polymers, e.g. starch, cellulose, proteinaceous material, polyacrylamide, polyvinyl alcohols.
Ethanedial, Oxalaldehyde
Odor: characteristic
Use: Is used as a solubilizer and cross-linking agent in polymer chemistry for: proteins (leather tanning process), collagen, cellulose derivatives (textiles), hydrocolloids, and starch (paper coatings).
Safety Information:
Xn - Harmful.
R 20 - Harmful by inhalation.
R 36/38 - Irritating to skin and eyes.
R 43 - May cause sensitisation by skin contact.
R 68 - Possible risk of irreversible effects.
S 02 - Keep out of the reach of children.
S 20/21 - When using do not eat, drink or smoke.
S 23 - Do not breath fumes.
S 24/25 - Avoid contact with skin and eyes.
S 26 - In case of contact with eyes, rinse immediately with plenty of water and seek medical advice.
S 36/37 - Wear suitable protective clothing and gloves.

•commercially available in anhydrous form as crystalline dihydrate, or as a 40% aqueous solution which may contain polymerization inhibitors. 
dihydrate grades: 40% solution; pure, solid; vp. 
•glyoxal is a dialdehyde supplied commercially as 30% aqueous solution, consisting of mixture of monomeric & polymeric hydrates along with small amounts of impurities which render the solution acid.
•glyoxal can undertake rotational isomerization between the planar cis and trans conformations, with trans-glyoxal being the more stable isomer.
 • is generally employed as an aqueous solutionin which hydrated oligomers are present due to nucleophilic addition. ...some of the most important hydrated derivatives of glyoxal formed by nucleophilic addition in aqueous solutioninclude the monomer ethane-1,1,2,2-tetraol (i), the dimer 2-dihydroxymethyl-(1,3)dioxolane-4,5-transdiol (ii), and the trimer bis(dioxolane) (i.e., 2,2'-bi-1,3-dioxolanyl-4,4',5,5'-tetraol) (iii) - both cis and trans configurations. however, the proportion of the different structures varies with concentration and ph.

Glyoxal is the dialdehyde that is the smallest possible and which consists of ethane having oxo groups on both carbons. It has a role as a pesticide, an agrochemical and an allergen.

Glyoxal appears as yellow crystals melting at15°C. Hence often encountered as a light yellow liquid with a weak sour odor. Vapor has a green color and burns with a violet flame.

Glyoxal was first prepared and named by the German-British chemist Heinrich Debus (1824–1915) by reacting ethanol with nitric acid.

Commercial glyoxal is prepared either by the gas-phase oxidation of ethylene glycol in the presence of a silver or copper catalyst (the Laporte process) or by the liquid-phase oxidation of acetaldehyde with nitric acid.

The first commercial glyoxal source was in Lamotte, France, started in 1960. 
The single largest commercial source is BASF in Ludwigshafen, Germany, at around 60,000 tons per year. 
Other production sites exist also in the US and China. 
Commercial bulk glyoxal is made and reported as a 40%-strength solution in water.

Laboratory methods
Glyoxal may be synthesized in the laboratory by oxidation of acetaldehyde with selenious acid.

Anhydrous glyoxal is prepared by heating solid glyoxal hydrate(s) with phosphorus pentoxide and condensing the vapors in a cold trap.

Advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) are proteins or lipids that become glycated as the result of a high-sugar diet.
They are a bio-marker implicated in aging and the development, or worsening, of many degenerative diseases, such as diabetes, atherosclerosis, chronic kidney disease, and Alzheimer's disease.

Coated paper and textile finishes use large amounts of glyoxal as a crosslinker for starch-based formulations. It condenses with urea to afford 4,5-dihydroxy-2-imidazolidinone, which further reacts with formaldehyde to give the bis(hydroxymethyl) derivative dimethylol ethylene urea, which is used for wrinkle-resistant chemical treatments of clothing, i.e. permanent press.

Glyoxal is used as a solubilizer and cross-linking agent in polymer chemistry.

Glyoxal is a valuable building block in organic synthesis, especially in the synthesis of heterocycles such as imidazoles.
A convenient form of the reagent for use in the laboratory is its bis(hemiacetal) with ethylene glycol, 1,4-dioxane-2,3-diol. This compound is commercially available.

Glyoxal solutions can also be used as a fixative for histology, that is, a method of preserving cells for examining them under a microscope.

Glyoxal and its derivatives are also used in the chemical probing of RNA structure, as they react with free guanines in RNAs.

Glyoxal is supplied typically as a 40% aqueous solution.
Like other small aldehydes, glyoxal forms hydrates. Furthermore, the hydrates condense to give a series of oligomers, some of which remain of uncertain structure. 
For most applications, the exact nature of the species in solution is inconsequential. 
At least one hydrate of glyoxal is sold commercially, glyoxal trimer dihydrate: [(CHO)2]3(H2O)2 (CAS 4405-13-4).
 Other glyoxal equivalents are available, such as the ethylene glycol hemiacetal 1,4-dioxane-trans-2,3-diol (CAS 4845-50-5, m.p. 91–95 °C),

It is estimated that, at concentrations less than 1 M, glyoxal exists predominantly as the monomer or hydrates thereof, i.e., OCHCHO, OCHCH(OH)2, or (HO)2CHCH(OH)2.
At concentrations above 1 M, dimers predominate. These dimers are probably dioxolanes, with the formula [(HO)CH]2O2CHCHO.
Dimer and trimers precipitate as solids from cold solutions.

Other occurrences
Glyoxal has been observed as a trace gas in the atmosphere, e.g. as an oxidation product of hydrocarbons.
Tropospheric concentrations of 0–200 ppt by volume have been reported, in polluted regions up to 1 ppb by volume.

The LD50 (oral, rats) is 3300 mg/kg, which is very high.

Ethanedial, trimer
Aerotex glyoxal 40
Glyoxal aldehyde
Ethanediol, trimer
Glyoxal, 40%
Glyoxal solutions
Glyoxal, 29.2%
EINECS 203-474-9
Glyoxal, 40% in water
Glyoxal, pure, 40 wt.% solution in water
Glyoxal solution, ~40% in H2O (~8.8 M)
ethane dial
Glyoxal solution
Protectol GL 40
glyoxal (ethanedial)
oxalic acid dihydride
hydroxymethylene ketone
Glyoxal, 40 % Solution
EC 203-474-9
Glyoxal solution, 40.0%
4-01-00-03625 (Beilstein Handbook Reference)
Glyoxal, Biformyl, Oxalaldehyde
Glyoxal, 40% solution in water
Glyoxal, 40% w/w aq. soln.
Glyoxal solution, 40 wt. % in H2O

Aerotex glyoxal 40
ethandial … %

Glyoxal, 29.2%
Glyoxal, 40%
glyoxal; ethandial

Translated names
...% glioksalis (lt)

Etaandiaal … % (et)

etan-1,2-dion ... % (no)

etandial ... % (no)

etandial … % (ro)

etandial … % (sl)

etandial...% (hr)

etandiale...% (it)

etanodial ...% (pl)

etanodial...% (pt)

ethandial ... % (cs)

Ethandial … % (de)

etándiál (sk)

etándiál ...% (hu)

etándiál...% (sk)

Glioksal (hr)

Glioksal (pl)

Glioksal (sl)

glioksal ...% (pl)

glioksal...% (hr)

glioksal...% (sl)

Glioksalis (lt)

Glioksāls (lv)

Gliossal (mt)

Gliossale (it)

gliossale...% (it)

Glioxal (es)

Glioxal (pt)

Glioxal (ro)

glioxal … % (ro)

glioxal...% (es)

glioxal...% (pt)

Glioxál (hu)

glioxál …% (hu)

Glyoksaali (fi)

glyoksaali...% (fi)

glyoksal ... % (no)

glyoxal (cs)

glyoxal (da)

Glyoxal (de)

Glyoxal (fr)

Glyoxal (nl)

Glyoxal (no)

Glyoxal (sv)

glyoxal ... % (cs)

glyoxal à …%; éthanedial à…% (fr)

glyoxal...% (da)

Glyoxal...% (de)

glyoxal...% (nl)

glyoxal...% (sv)

glyoxál...% (sk)

Glükoksaal … % (et)

Glüoksaal (et)

éthanedial...% (fr)

Γλυοξάλη (el)

γλυοξάλη ...% (el)

Глиоксал (bg)

глиоксал...% (bg)

етандиал...% (bg)

…% etandialis (lt)

…% etāndiāls (lv)

…% glioksāls (lv)

CAS names: Ethanedial

IUPAC names: 1,2 ethandial

ethandial 40%
ethandial … %

Trade names
1,2-Ethanedial (chemical name)
Daicel GY 60
Ethanedial (9CI)
Glyfix CS 50
Glyoxal (8CI)
Glyoxal (common name)
Glyoxal 40 liq
Glyoxal aldehyde
Gohsezal P
Permafresh 114
Protectol GL 
Protectol GL 40 

Index Number
CAS number
Deleted CAS number

107-22-2 [RN]
1732463 [Beilstein]
203-474-9 [EINECS]
Ethanedial [ACD/Index Name]
Glyoxal [Wiki]
MFCD00006957 [MDL number]
Oxalaldehyd [German] [ACD/IUPAC Name]
Oxalaldehyde [ACD/IUPAC Name]
Oxalaldéhyde [French] [ACD/IUPAC Name]
(CHO)2 [Formula]
40% aqueous solution
4-01-00-03625 (Beilstein Handbook Reference) [Beilstein]
Glyoxal (40per cent w/w in H2O)
glyoxal aldehyde
Glyoxal, 40% in water
Glyoxal, 40% solution in water
Protectol GL 40 [Trade name]
乙二醛 [Chinese]


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