Published March 2020
The furfural industry has grown rapidly in China in the last 25 years, forcing out all production in the United States and most of Europe. In the 1990s, the Chinese industry was composed of many small-scale furfural plants, but since the mid1990s, the industry has tended toward an increase in the size of its plants and has pursued value-added capacity for making furfuryl alcohol. China is by far the leading global producer of metal castings, where furfuryl alcohol is used to make furan foundry binder resins. China is also a leading exporter of furfural and furfuryl alcohol.
The following pie chart shows world consumption of furfural:
Outside of China, demand for furfural is relatively small, with little change expected. Other regions that may experience growth, albeit from smaller volumes, include Africa the Middle East, and Central and Eastern Europe. Only minimal growth is expected in the United States, Japan, and Other Asia Pacific (excluding China and Japan), while consumption in Central and South America is expected to decline.
Furfural is produced from agricultural wastes that contain pentosans that are then hydrolyzed to furfural and other byproducts. The most common raw materials for furfural production include corncobs, bagasse from sugarcane processing, and by-product streams from tanning and cellulosic fiber production.
Furfuryl alcohol is the dominant end use for furfural, accounting for nearly 90% of total consumption, followed by solvent applications in lubricating oils and butadiene extraction (4%), with the remainder in other applications such as chemical, pharmaceutical, and flavoring intermediates.
For more detailed information, see the table of contents, shown below.
IHS Markit’s Chemical Economics Handbook –Furfural is the comprehensive and trusted guide for anyone seeking information on this industry. This latest report details global and regional information, including
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