Formaldehyde is used as a disinfectant and conserving agent as well as an auxiliary material in textile and pulp and paper industry. Formaldehyde also is the starting material for many types of very common resins and polymers (resins with urea, melamine, phenol; polyoxymethylene; and many more) as well as for a variety of other products in chemical industry.
Formaldehyde is industrially produced from methanol via catalytic high temperature processes. Methanol is passed through the reactor, where formaldehyde is formed at low concentration mixed with water. Subsequently, water and some of the residual methanol are removed in a stripper.
The determination of the concentrations of methanol and formaldehyde in the product and during the process is crucial for process and quality control.