Dimethylformamide is a derivative of formamide and a polar solvent that has wide use as a solvent and a reagent because of its ability to facilitate reactions. Its chemical formula is CH3H7NO, and it is synthesized from dimethylamine and methyl formate. It is also produced as a reaction between dimethylamine and carbon monoxide.
In its pure form, the compound is colorless and odorless, but in its degraded or technical grade form, it has an odor similar to fish or ammonia that comes from impurities in the dimethylamine. Its properties include a melting point of -60 degrees Celsius, a boiling point of 152 to 154 degrees Celsius, and a high solubility with water. It also has a density very similar to that of water, at 0.95 grams per cubic centimeter at room temperature, defined as 20 degrees Celsius.
The compound sees significant commercial use as a solvent in many manufacturing industries. Its primary commercial use is as a solvent in pharmaceuticals, as well as the production of acrylics and other plastics. Additionally, it sees use in developing pesticides, manufacturing synthetic leathers, and producing adhesives.