January 2005



Formamide

The presence of formamide, NHCHO, was reported in 1971 by Rubin et al. in Sgr B2. A second rotational line was reported in 1973 by Gottlieb et al. An IAU circular released in 1997 noted detection of two formamide lines in Comet Hale-Bopp at 254.877 and 227.606 GHz. Quite recently, Raunier et al. provided a tentative identification of ice-bound formamide in ISO-SWS spectra of protostellar source NGC 7538. Their experiments indicated that formamide may be formed by irradiation of an ice containing isocyanic acid, HNCO.

Formamide is a cousin of formaldehyde, with one H replaced with the NH amino (or amide) group.

As noted here, formamide is used in preparing pesticides, medicines and vitamins, and a number of additional applications.


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