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[also called 2.2-bis(hydroxymethyl)-1,3-propanediol and tetramethylolmethane], C(CH2OH)4, a tet-rahydric alcohol that occurs as colorless crystals with a melting point of 263.5°C. Pentaerythritol is soluble in water and glycerol but only sparingly soluble in common organic solvents. It exhibits all the properties common to polyhydric alcohols and is obtained from the reaction of formaldehyde and acetaldehyde in the presence of such compounds as Ca(OH)2 and KOH. Pentaerythritol is used in the manufacture of alkyd resins and the explosive pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN).