Formose Project - Description
The project relies on a chemical reaction called the formose reaction, a reaction which converts formaldehyde to sugars, first reported by Butlerow in 1861 (see reference). Monsanto (to which Solutia belonged until 1997) used this chemistry to develop a formose process for a different waste stream application, but the technology used did not offer complete formaldehyde destruction.
In 2002 Solutia’s research team explored this reaction further and invented a continuous process that could reliably destroy the formaldehyde to trace levels (<1 ppm). A full scale plant using this technology has now been built and is routinely achieving a formaldehyde reduction >99%. This will allow Solutia to reduce the potential impact of it’s discharge into the Severn Estuary.
Reference; Butlerow, A. Justus Liebigs Ann, Chem. 120, 295 (1861)