APIs & Raw Materials

Formic Acid

Formic acid is an environmentally acceptable and highly efficient organic acid. It is used in many areas, from leather processing to feed preservation.

What are the applications for formic acid?

Formic acid is an efficient and environmentally friendly organic acid for many applications. In leather processing, the acid is used in tanning and dye fixing and serves also as a neutralizing agent and pH adjuster in many steps of textile processing. In the production of epoxidized soy bean oil formic acid is used in combination with hydrogen peroxide as oxidizing agent. In home care, industrial and institutional cleaning, formic acid is a powerful descaler as well as a valuable biocide in many cleaning applications under the Protectol FM brand. It is also used to adjust pH values in flue gas desulfurization, latex coagulation and other applications. Formic acid can serve as a hydride donor in various chemical processes. In animal nutrition the acid preserves feed and silage. In oil field applications it helps to dissolve calcium carbonate. Potassium formate, a salt of formic acid, also helps with well drilling and completion in the oil field industry. Furthermore, potassium formate is environmentally friendly and at the same time a highly efficient deicing agent for roads and airport runways. As it is readily biodegradable, it protects the environment. The pharmaceutical industry uses formic acid in the production of various active pharmaceutical ingredients.

In what form does BASF supply formic acid?

In Europe and Asia, BASF supplies formic acid at concentrations of 85%, 94% and 99%. In North America, formic acid is available in 85%, 90%, 95% and 99% concentrations. Bulk formic acid may be filled in tank trucks and rail cars. As a packaged product, BASF offers formic acid in cans of 35 kg or 70 kg, in drums of 240 kg or 250 kg, and in IBCs of 1160 kg or 1200 kg.

Where does BASF produce formic acid?

BASF is the world’s largest manufacturer of formic acid with production plants at its integrated Verbund sites in Ludwigshafen, Germany, and Nanjing, China. Another facility is being built and due to come on stream in mid-2015 at the Geismar, Louisiana, site. This will raise BASF’s annual capacity to more than 300,000 metric tons.