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the dimethylamide of formic acid, HCON(CH3)2; a colorless liquid with a slight, characteristic odor. Melting point, −61°C; boiling point, 153°C; density, 0.9445 g/cm3 (25°C); index of refraction n25D, 1.4269. It is miscible with water, acetone, and benzene, and it readily dissolves polar organic substances, some salts, acetylene (31.4 parts per part of dimethylformamide at 25°C), and many polymers.
In industry, dimethylformamide is made from methyl formate, HCOOCH3, and dimethylamine, HN(CH3)2, or from dimethylamine and CO. It is used as a solvent in forming polyacrylonitrile fiber (Nitron and Orion); in separating acetylene from gas mixtures; as a dye solvent in dyeing leather, paper, wood, and viscose fiber; and in a number of chemical processes.