Upgrades of existing Formaldehyde plants

Today’s new FORMOX™ formaldehyde plants from Johnson Matthey have as standard a number of features that were optional or non-existent when we began supplying plants.

In line with our emphasis on flexibility, and on building the most future-proof plants available anywhere, it is seldom too late to retrofit or even to expand.

Emission Control System (ECS)

Our highly effective ECS has been standard equipment on all new plants for many years now. And since the ECS is relatively easy to retrofit, most of our customers with older plants have added this equipment. Moreover, in most cases our ECS unit can even be retrofitted on HCHO plants of other designs.

Here are some of the advantages of a FORMOX ECS:

  • Designed specifically for HCHO / UFC plants and based on our long and unique experience in this field.
  • Eliminates up to 99.8% of the hazardous wastes in the off-gas, thus satisfying the most stringent environmental regulations in the world, e.g. EPA, TA Luft.
  • Some systems solve one environmental problem by creating another. With the FORMOX ECS, there's no formation of NOx and SOx, as the temperature in the catalyst bed is low and no additional burner is required.
  • Thanks to catalytic incineration, which has a far lower operating temperature than thermal incineration, equipment costs are low.
  • The energy content in the waste gas is utilised for heating the incoming gases to ignition temperature, and no additional energy is necessary during normal operation.
  • The additional energy in the waste gases can be used for producing about 100 kg of steam per ton of 37% HCHO, or an equivalent amount of energy for superheating steam.
  • Catalytic oxidation takes place at temperatures of about 200-250ºC. This means far lower energy requirements than thermal incineration, which needs temperatures of 800ºC. This approx 600ºC difference allows the use of less costly construction material.
  • With the utilization of steam, the pay-back time is just 3-5 years!

Expansion projects

We believe in the future! We also believe that the efficiency of our plants and catalysts will contribute to making our customers so successful that they will be able to grow and prosper. That's why most of our plants are designed to enable relatively easy capacity expansion, e.g. by adding an additional reactor line. Contact your Johnson Matthey representative about what expansion options are most suitable for your plant.


We introduced pressurisation of our plants some years ago, thereby enabling a major boost in the capacity of existing plants. Many of our customers have already taken advantage of this opportunity to achieve significantly greater output for a modest investment cost.

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Customer Newsletter providing informal information about formaldehyde to its global producers.

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