Furfural is an organic compound, which is produced from pentosans rich agricultural wastes. Agricultural wastes enriched in pentosans are hydrolyzed to produced this organic chemical. Some of the common feedstock for production of this chemical are corncobs, bagasse, rice husk, switchgrass, and algae. Owing to its nature of raw material, the organic compound is considered as one of the prominent renewable chemicals. Currently, most of the production of this organic compound is done for furfuryl alcohol application. The furfural market has been segmented on the basis of raw material, application, end user, and region.
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On the basis of application, the furfural market has been segmented into furfuryl alcohol, solvent, butadiene extraction, flavoring intermediates, and others. The furfuryl alcohol application dominated the market in 2017, and this trend is unlikely to change during the forecast period. Furfuryl alcohol is mostly used for synthesis of furan resin, which is an important chemical feedstock for production of thermoset polymer matrix composites, adhesives, cements, casting resins and coatings. The organic chemical is also used as solvent for petroleum refining. Currently, limited applications of the chemical as flavoring intermediates can be identified in countries from Europe and North America.
Technological advancement in the production process may drastically increase the production yield of this renewable chemical. This will also help the producers to achieve economies of scale for production. The organic compound can also be used for producing 5-(hydroxymethyl)furfural, that is a carbon neutral feed stock for fuel production. In coming years, usage of the chemical as feedstock for bio-fuel is identified as growth opportunity for the furfural market.
On the basis of raw material, the furfural market has been segmented into corn cob, sugarcane bagasse, rice husk, and others. The product is produced through technologies such as and ‘SAVO’ process and ‘Quaker Oats’ process. Corn cob and sugarcane bagasse are two of the most common raw materials for production of this organic compound. However, rice husk raw material offers significantly low-cost advantage as compared to other raw materials used for furfural production.
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The major growth driver identified in the furfural market is supportive regulations related to the development of bio-based products is actually boosting the penetration of this organic chemical across different application. In addition, new product developments by leading producers are also expanding the application market for the product across major geographies.
Some of the major players operating in the global furfural market are Central Romana Corporation, Tieling North Furfural (Group) Co. Ltd., Hongye Holding Group Corp., Ltd., Illovo Sugar Ltd., Xingtai Chunlei Furfuryl Alcohol Co., Ltd., Silvateam S.P.A., Lenzing AG, Tanin Sevnica D.D., Penn A Kem LLC, and Arcoy Biorefinery Pvt. Ltd.