Formylation reactions occur when a formyl group (-CH=O) is added to a compound, primarily during the synthesis of aldehydes, formamides, and formate esters. They are commonly used as an intermediate step in chemical manufacturing as the formyl group can be replaced relatively easily by a different functionality. This renders formylation an extremely useful manufacturing process for an array of applications, from agrochemicals and pharmaceuticals to cosmetics and textiles.

Formylation in Fine Chemical & Custom Chemical Manufacturing

Formylation is a common reaction in fine chemical and custom fine chemical manufacturing in fields requiring high purity intermediaries. Among the most common formylation reactions are those that use Reimer-Tiemann reactions as a first step, but with so many different applications and molecules, there is a variety of possible formylation types available. As mentioned, two of the most common examples include the production of aldehydes and formamides.

Chemical manufacturers often rely on formylation as a key pathway to fine chemical formamide production, particularly in the agrochemicals industry where formamides are routinely used as intermediates in fungicides and pesticides. To a lesser – but no less valuable extent – formamides are useful for synthesizing active ingredients and intermediates in pharmaceuticals.

Manufacturers also utilize formylation to produce aldehyde molecules for a diverse set of applications. One of the most well-known aldehydes is 4-Hydroxy-3-methoxybenzaldehyde – better known as vanillin or vanilla extract. This forms the basis of countless flavoring agents and fragrances around the world. As with formamides, aldehyde molecules are also extremely useful in the agrochemicals and pharma markets.

Fine chemical companies use formylation to produce intermediates for an extremely broad cross-section of industries. For key intermediates that are not readily available, fine chemical manufacturing offers a means to secure long term supply without having to tie-up otherwise-valuable internal resources.

Formylation at CABB

CABB Group is a leading fine chemical custom manufacturer of starting materials, advanced intermediates, and active ingredients. CABB’s Custom Manufacturing business supports customers from 3 locations: Pratteln, Switzerland; Kokkola, Finland; and Jayhawk, USA, to offer creative solutions involving formylation.

If you would like more information about our products and services, simply contact a member of the CABB team today.