The European Union (EU) is the second largest producer of formaldehyde after Asia, producing over 3.6 million tonnes of formaldehyde each year which accounts for about 30% of global production.* Annual sales of formaldehyde-based chemicals in the EU are roughly €9.5 billion a year and 22 of the 27 EU Member States manufacture formaldehyde. Germany is the largest formaldehyde producer in the EU, followed by Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and the UK.
As formaldehyde is an extremely versatile building block, it is used in a wide variety of applications and it especially plays in important role in the construction, automotive and furniture industries. Because formaldehyde has excellent adhesive and binding properties, the majority of formaldehyde produced in the EU is made into resins. These resins are essential to produce things like wood panels and particle board which are used in construction and furniture making.
*Statistics are from CEH Marketing Research Report, SRI and refer to 100% formaldehyde
*EU Capacity 2009 (in thousands of metric tonnes)