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Record Information
StatusDetected but not Quantified
Creation Date2005-11-16 15:48:42 UTC
Update Date2020-02-26 21:23:28 UTC
Secondary Accession Numbers
  • HMDB01536
Metabolite Identification
Common NameFormamide
DescriptionFormamide, also known as methanamide or ameisensaeureamid, belongs to the class of organic compounds known as carboximidic acids. These are organic acids with the general formula RC(=N)-OH (R=H, organic group). Formamide is an extremely weak basic (essentially neutral) compound (based on its pKa). Formamide, in its pure state, has been used as an alternative solvent for the electrostatic self-assembly of polymer nanofilms. Formamide exists in all living organisms, ranging from bacteria to humans. Outside of the human body, formamide has been detected, but not quantified in, several different foods, such as hyssops, rose hips, asian pears, brassicas, and green bell peppers. This could make formamide a potential biomarker for the consumption of these foods. It has been used as a softener for paper and fiber. Inhalation of large amounts of formamide vapor may require medical attention. In the past, formamide was produced by treating formic acid with ammonia, which produces ammonium formate, which in turn yields formamide upon heating:HCOOH + NH3 → HCOO−NH+4HCOO−NH+4 → HCONH2 + H2OFormamide is also generated by aminolysis of ethyl formate:HCOOCH2CH3 + NH3 → HCONH2 + CH3CH2OHThe current industrial process for the manufacture of formamide involves either the carbonylation of ammonia:CO + NH3 → HCONH2An alternative two-stage process involves the ammonolysis of methyl formate, which is formed from carbon monoxide and methanol:CO + CH3OH → HCOOCH3HCO2CH3 + NH3 → HCONH2 + CH3OHFormamide is used in the industrial production of hydrogen cyanide. Formamide has been shown to exhibit hematoxicity in animals and is considered hazardous by prolonged exposure through inhalation, oral intake and dermal absorption.
Formimidic acidChEBI
Chemical FormulaCH3NO
Average Molecular Weight45.0406
Monoisotopic Molecular Weight45.021463723
IUPAC Nameformamide
Traditional Nameformamide
CAS Registry Number75-12-7
InChI Identifier
Chemical Taxonomy
Description belongs to the class of organic compounds known as carboximidic acids. These are organic acids with the general formula RC(=N)-OH (R=H, organic group).
KingdomOrganic compounds
Super ClassOrganic acids and derivatives
ClassCarboximidic acids and derivatives
Sub ClassCarboximidic acids
Direct ParentCarboximidic acids
Alternative Parents
  • Carboximidic acid
  • Organic nitrogen compound
  • Organic oxygen compound
  • Organopnictogen compound
  • Hydrocarbon derivative
  • Organooxygen compound
  • Organonitrogen compound
  • Imine
  • Aliphatic acyclic compound
Molecular FrameworkAliphatic acyclic compounds
External Descriptors

Route of exposure:


Biological location:

Physical Properties
Experimental Properties
Melting Point2.55 °CNot Available
Boiling PointNot AvailableNot Available
Water Solubility1000 mg/mLNot Available
LogP-1.51HANSCH,C ET AL. (1995)
Predicted Properties
Water Solubility503 g/LALOGPS
pKa (Strongest Acidic)16.67ChemAxon
pKa (Strongest Basic)-0.71ChemAxon
Physiological Charge0ChemAxon
Hydrogen Acceptor Count1ChemAxon
Hydrogen Donor Count1ChemAxon
Polar Surface Area43.09 ŲChemAxon
Rotatable Bond Count0ChemAxon
Refractivity9.98 m³·mol⁻¹ChemAxon
Polarizability3.83 ųChemAxon
Number of Rings0ChemAxon
Rule of FiveYesChemAxon
Ghose FilterNoChemAxon
Veber's RuleNoChemAxon
MDDR-like RuleNoChemAxon
Spectrum TypeDescriptionSplash KeyView
Predicted GC-MSPredicted GC-MS Spectrum - GC-MS (Non-derivatized) - 70eV, Positivesplash10-0002-9000000000-f6326cc6c67041284b52Spectrum
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 10V, Positivesplash10-0002-9000000000-4a58cc52ed1f85a41b4cSpectrum
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 20V, Positivesplash10-0002-9000000000-52b8e3cce362934e1d52Spectrum
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 40V, Positivesplash10-004j-9000000000-32c53cf62ffc73e10c84Spectrum
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 10V, Negativesplash10-0006-9000000000-0a22a0222cfe33823b8bSpectrum
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 20V, Negativesplash10-0006-9000000000-2473e800b4396749f887Spectrum
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 40V, Negativesplash10-004l-9000000000-3221c668103b22c85e42Spectrum
2D NMR[1H,1H] 2D NMR SpectrumNot AvailableSpectrum
Biological Properties
Cellular Locations
  • Cytoplasm (predicted from logP)
Biospecimen Locations
  • Feces
Tissue Locations
  • Adrenal Gland
  • Epidermis
Normal Concentrations
FecesDetected but not QuantifiedNot QuantifiedAdult (>18 years old)Both
Abnormal Concentrations
Not Available
Associated Disorders and Diseases
Disease ReferencesNone
Associated OMIM IDsNone
DrugBank IDNot Available
Phenol Explorer Compound IDNot Available
FooDB IDFDB022677
KNApSAcK IDNot Available
Chemspider ID693
KEGG Compound IDC00488
BiGG IDNot Available
Wikipedia LinkFormamide
PubChem Compound713
PDB IDNot Available
ChEBI ID16397
Food Biomarker OntologyNot Available
VMH IDNot Available
MarkerDB ID
Synthesis ReferenceMagill, P. L. Formamide. Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry (Washington, D. C.) (1934), 26 611-14.
Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)Download (PDF)
General References
  1. Lareo AC, Perbellini L: Biological monitoring of workers exposed to N-N-dimethylformamide. II. Dimethylformamide and its metabolites in urine of exposed workers. Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 1995;67(1):47-52. [PubMed:7622279 ]
  2. Kawashima K, Doi H, Ito Y, Shibata MA, Yoshinaka R, Otsuki Y: Evaluation of cell death and proliferation in psoriatic epidermis. J Dermatol Sci. 2004 Sep;35(3):207-14. [PubMed:15381242 ]
  3. Major J, Hudak A, Kiss G, Jakab MG, Szaniszlo J, Naray M, Nagy I, Tompa A: Follow-up biological and genotoxicological monitoring of acrylonitrile- and dimethylformamide-exposed viscose rayon plant workers. Environ Mol Mutagen. 1998;31(4):301-10. [PubMed:9654238 ]
  4. Al-Soud WA, Ouis IS, Li DQ, Ljungh S, Wadstrom T: Characterization of the PCR inhibitory effect of bile to optimize real-time PCR detection of Helicobacter species. FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2005 May 1;44(2):177-82. [PubMed:15866213 ]
  5. Eizuru Y, Minamishima Y, Matsumoto T, Hamakado T, Mizukoshi M, Nabeshima K, Koono M, Yoshida A, Yoshida H, Kikuchi M: Application of in situ hybridization with a novel phenytoin-labeled probe to conventional formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue sections. J Virol Methods. 1995 Apr;52(3):309-16. [PubMed:7601905 ]
  6. Walrath J, Fayerweather WE, Gilby PG, Pell S: A case-control study of cancer among du pont employees with potential for exposure to dimethylformamide. J Occup Med. 1989 May;31(5):432-8. [PubMed:2715850 ]