Waste to Wealth-Value Recovery from Agricultural and Industrial Biomass Residues. Furfural from Lignocellulosic Biomass. Production of Furfural from Sugarcane Bagasse and Corncobs.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

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The concept of waste as a material “which has no use” is changing to that of seeing waste as a resource by converting into secondary material with modification. Wastes can thus be converted into useful resources used at home or even sold for wealth. Waste recycling involves the collection of discarded materials such as Sugarcane Bagasse, Corncobs etc and processing these materials, and turning them into new products.

Furfural is a chemical made out of organic matter which is typically produced for industrial purposes. It is primarily composed of agricultural byproducts such as oat husks, bran, corncobs, and sawdust. Some of the products it is used in include weed killer, fungicide, and solvent. It is also a familiar element in the production of transportation fuels and in the process of refining lubricating oils. The chemical is an element in the production of several other industrial agents as well.

Bagasse is a waste product from the sugar industry, which is usually used as energy source in factory at present. However, the amount of bagasse left is still high enough for more value-added product for example furfural. Bagasse is a good source of pentosan and containing about 25 to 27%. The main objective of the research was to produce furfural from bagasse. The main raw material for the production furfural was bagasse and some chemicals/ingredients were used (H2SO4, water, NaCl).

Furfural is an important chemical because it is a selective solvent for separating saturated and unsaturated compounds in petroleum refining, gas, oil and diesel fuel, and for the high demand of its derivatives, especially furfuryl alcohol, used mainly in the production of furan resins for foundry sand binders, which is considered the major market for furfural



Furfural is used as a solvent in petrochemical refining to extract dienes from other hydrocarbons. Furfural, as well as its derivative furfuryl alcohol, can be used together with phenol, acetone, or urea to make solid resins.

It is commonly used as a solvent; it is soluble in ethanol and ether and somewhat soluble in water. Furfural is the aldehyde of pyromucic acid; it has properties similar to those of benzaldehyde. A derivative of furan, it is prepared commercially by dehydration of pentose sugars obtained from cornstalks and corncobs, husks of oat and peanut, and other waste products. It is used in the manufacture of pesticides, phenol furfural resins, and tetrahydrofuran. Tetrahydrofuran is used as a commercial solvent and is converted in starting materials for the preparation of nylon. Furfural is used as a solvent in petrochemical refining to extract dienes (which are used to make synthetic rubber) from other hydrocarbons.


Few Indian major players are as under

·         MA CAgro Inds. Ltd.

·         Mahavir Expochem Ltd.

·         Southern Agrifurane Inds. Ltd.

·         Southern Agrosynthese Ltd.

·         Sri Kusuma Haranadha Agro Fural Ltd.


Market Outlook

In terms of volume, the global furfural market was valued at 306.3 kilotons in 2015, and should increase to 488.3 kilotons in 2021, reflecting a five-year CAGR of 7.7%.

The Strong shift towards the development of bio-based chemicals on account of volatile petrochemical prices and growing environmental concerns is expected to remain a key driver for the growth of global furfural market. A strong push for sustainable chemistry on a political and regulatory level across key regions is expected to play a critical role in furfural market development. Furfural has gained acceptance as a substitute for petrochemicals as a building block for polymers and solid elastomers. In addition, furfural derivatives such as 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), furan-2,5-dicarboxylic acid (FDCA) and polytetrahydrofuran (poly-THF) have also been gaining importance as potential secondary fuel sources. This trend is expected to drive further furfural demand over the next six years.

The overall opportunity in furfural, worldwide, will increase from US$450 mn in 2014 to US$1.35 bn by 2023.

Growing global demand for environmentally sustainable biomass-based chemicals has fueled the overall growth of the furfural market, along with the growing application of furfural and its derivatives in the pharmaceutical industry. These factors have triggered demand-side growth of the furfural market.

Sugarcane bagasse raw material based furfural is expected to grow at a high CAGR of 12.6% during the forecast period.

China is the dominant player in the world furfural market. With 85% of global capacity and 75% of world consumption, China will continue to drive the overall market. Strong annual growth of over 4% globally is expected in the next five years as China's consumption of furfural continues to grow as a result of strong demand for furfuryl alcohol to produce furan resins and increased furfuryl alcohol exports.


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