Reduction of cost, energy and emissions of the formalin production process via methane steam reforming

Jan Puhar, Annamaria Vujanović, Peter Awad, Lidija Čuček

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Downloads (Pure)


Production of formalin, which is among the highest production volume chemicals, is highly energy-intensive; thus, reduction of energy use is very important in reducing cost and emissions. The aim of this and its larger overall research is to systemically analyze how to improve sustainability of processes producing formalin as an intermediate or final product. In this part of the work, energy consumption requirements are analyzed for the conventional formalin production process via methane steam reforming, where opportunities for energy consumption reduction are identified. This work will serve as a base case for further investigation of alternative formalin production pathways. To achieve energy savings, heat integration technology by combined pinch analysis and mathematical programming is applied. The formalin production process is simulated using Aspen HYSYS, and heat integration of the production process was performed based on simulated design using GAMS software. Economic and environmental footprint analyses were performed for both non-integrated and integrated designs. Results show that heat integration reduces heat consumption by around 39%, leading to a saving of 11% in capital cost and turning annual operating cost into positive revenue. Heat integration also improves the environmental aspect, where a 7-22% reduction in selected environmental footprints is achieved.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5
Pages (from-to)1-17
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Economic performance
  • Energy consumption reduction
  • Environmental footprint analysis
  • Formalin production process
  • Heat integration
  • Mathematical programming
  • Pinch analysis

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Reduction of cost, energy and emissions of the formalin production process via methane steam reforming'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this