Formaldehyde From Methanol Lab Report

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By- Paidi Krishna Pradeep (2015CH10118)
Chemical Synthesized:
In this term paper, we are going to discuss the synthesis of
Formaldehyde from Methanol by catalytic oxidation. Formaldehyde is the simplest molecule in the aldehyde family. It is also known as methanal based on the IUPAC nomenclature system.
Structure of Formaldehyde
Uses of Formaldehyde:
 It is used as a disinfectant as it is effective in killing most of the bacteria and other harmful micro-organisms.
 Formaldehyde solutions are also commonly used for preserving biological specimens in museums and laboratories.
 Formaldehyde based resins are excellent bonding agents. So, they are used in household furnishings, flooring
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i.e O2 + M → M-O(a)
Here M is the Silver metal.
Catalyst Used:
As I mentioned earlier, Silver metal or a mixture of Molybdenum and Iron oxides can be used as catalysts. There are two main differences between the operation of these two catalysts.
The first difference between these two catalysts is that they operate at different temperatures. A mixture of Iron and Molybdenum oxides catalyst operates at a temperature between 200-300oC whereas the silver metal catalyst operates at a slightly higher temperature which is about
The other difference is that when you use a mixture of Iron and
Molybdenum oxides as the catalyst, the formation of Formaldehyde occurs through the following chemical reaction
CH3OH + ½ O2 → HCHO + H2O
On the other hand when you use silver metal as the catalyst, the formation of Formaldehyde is governed by two simultaneous reactions.
One of them is the one you see above while the other one is a dehydrogenation reaction.
The mechanism shown above clearly illustrates this. So, when you use
Silver metal as the catalyst, you obtain Hydrogen gas in addition to
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In 2012, the production of urea and phenol-formaldehyde resins was the major application area of
Formaldehyde, accounting for over half of the world’s total Formaldehyde consumption. China is the largest producer of this chemical accounting for almost 50% of its global output. USA and Russia are ranked second and third in terms of Formaldehyde production.
1 According to Merchant Research and Consulting Ltd
Annual Revenue generated by Formaldehyde:
In 2012, the revenue generated by the global Formaldehyde market was about 11 Billion USD and is expected to reach 18.4 Billion USD by the end of 2018. Growth in Furniture and Construction industry are said to be a major boost for the Formaldehyde market. Asia Pacific was the largest market for Formaldehyde accounting for 6.8 billion USD revenue in the year 2012.
Some of the leading companies operating in the global market include Bayer MateriaScience, BASF SE, Dynea Oy, Hexion Specialty
Chemicals, Celanese Corporation, Georgia Pacific Corporation, Formox and others. References
Waterhouse, G. I. (2004). Mechanism and active sites for the partial oxidation of methanol to formaldehyde over an electrolytic silver catalyst.

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