All you need is a Cob and CO2 to make Plastic Bottles.

This article is an update to a previous article: "Plastic Bottles from Carbon Dioxide and a Furfural Derivative"

Most of the 270 billion plastic bottles used in the U.S. each year are derived from petroleum. And that manufacturing contributes to a global greenhouse gas hit of more than 200 million tons of carbon dioxide each year — the same amount about 150 coal power plants generate annually. Some plastics companies are attempting to cut that footprint by substituting corn-based sugar for petroleum. But planting, fertilizing and harvesting corn generates significant carbon emissions, too, says researcher Matt Kanan (Standford University), where they developed a process that turns furfural into a precursor to make plastic bottles:

1. Convert the corncobs into furfural

2. Make furoic acid (a common food additive) from the furfural.

3. Mix hot furoic acid with CO2 to make 2-5-Furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA).

4. FCDA is a precursor for making polyethylene furandicarboxylate (PEF), which is an attractive replacement for PET.

NB: Worldwide, about 50 million tons of PET are produced each year for items such as fabrics, electronics, recyclable beverage containers and personal-care products.

DalinYebo's Comment: Corncobs can be removed from the fields without any negative impact on soil health. Actually, they take a few years to decompose and initially take nitrogen from the soil during the decomposition process!


  • Biorenewable Chemicals
  • PEF
  • FDCA
  • Bioplastics
  • Furfural
  • Furoic Acid
  • PET
  • Corncobs...


Eco-friendly and affordable rocketfuel blends to replace currently used toxic fuels.

Indian researchers [1] investigated furfuryl alcohol ("FA", a furfural derivative) blends with ionic liquids ("ILs") as a basis for an eco-friendly rocket fuel. ILs are a suitable alternative to replace toxic rocket fuels like hydrazine, because they "fulfill most of the desirable properties such as negligible vapor pressure, low ignition delay, high energy density, low toxicity, stability over wide temperature range and it is also hydrolytically stable". The researchers also report enhancements of the hypergolic fuel properties by the "addition of nanomaterial."

We have previously reported on use of FA in hypergolic propellants like Furaline, the 1950s rocket fuel that was also used to booster rockets of the first interceptor jets or Fantol, the hypergolic starter fuel, which was already used for the German Enzian and Schmetterling missiles[2] towards the end of the 2nd World War.


only for our client users (click here):

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[1] Energy and Environmental Laboratory, Department of Applied Chemistry, Defence Institute of Advanced Technology (DU), Pune, 411025, India.DOI: 10.1002/slct.201600358

  • Furfural
  • Biofuels
  • Rocketfuels
  • Jetfuels...


Furfural is one of the oldest chemicals made from biomass. It has been commercially made since 1922 and is today recognised as one of the most import biobased chemical building blocks

During a presentation of a feasibility study on the Integration of Furfural Production into a Sugar Mill, a client recently conclude that ..

"it's really not rocket science!"

Their mill also produces ethanol, co-generates electricity and they are now looking at processing trash/leaves, as green cane harvesting is being introduced. The technology risk is low, but the bottom-line impact is high, when integrating furfural production to beneficiate residues from processing crops such as:




Sunflower Seeds,



Sweet Sorghum,

Sugarcane or

Forest residues

Generally, we have found that an investment in the addition of furfural production has returns (IRR) of over 25% and the payback period is below 4 years.

"Why are there not many more furfural producers?"

There are several answers to this question and DalinYebo would look forward to an opportunity to share them with your organisation. In the mean time, we take the liberty to direct you via the links below to some background information on this topic.

Benefit from the growing demand for biobased chemicals.
Viability Study: 13,500 tpa furfural & 2.2 MW electricity
Creating Wealth from Crop Residues
Fast, low-risk and low-cost bio-refining of bagasse and trash.
Upto 10 x higher margins, compared to Ethanol from hemicelluloses.
Furfural is a B2B trade, with attractive niche clients who offer longterm off-take agreements.

Of Interest? Provide us with some information about your current or planned operation (For the response form, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and we'll get back to you with a concept plan on how 'furfural' would benefit your business.


Adding Value to Biomass

DalinYebo, which means "Wealth Creation" (Xhosa) was founded in 2001 to trade and develop new furfural production with the support of International Furan Technology (Pty) Ltd (a wholly owned DalinYebo subsidiary). Our collective knowhow enables us to provide complete technology & business solutions for the manufacture of furfural:

For owners of biomass we offer technology and market access, creating investment opportunities in the cleantech space. Contact us to discuss the potential your biomass has for the production of furfural.

For the agri (Biomass) processing, sugar, pulp & paper, etc. industries, we provide knowhow and technology to convert (residual) biomass to chemicals and energy.

Bagasse, Corncobs, Sunflower Husks and more ..


  • Furfural
  • Biomass
  • Biorefineries
  • Biorenewable Chemicals...


Furfural: A Complementary, but More Attractive By-Product


There are many benefits when integrating furfural production into a sugar mill that co-generates electricity:

The income per tonne of bagasse is at least 50% higher, than from electricity sales.

The furfural process improves the calorific value of the boiler feed.

Furfural production technology is regarded as low risk (has been used since the 1920s) and is easy to implement.

For more details, have a look at our "Sugarcane" page, where you find the links to many relevant articles on this topic.

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Are You a Miller or Not?
  • Bagasse
  • Furfural
  • Biorenewable Chemicals
  • Green Electricity
  • CHP...


Furfural: Freshness Indicator of Beer (and other beverages and foods)!

Beer is one of the most widely consumed alcoholic beverages in the world. The flavour of each brand is one of its most relevant quality standards. However, depending on the beer type and its storage conditions, such flavour may be altered as a result of changes in the chemical composition produced during beer that, unlike what occurs in wines, has a negative effect on the quality of the flavour.

Editor’s Comment:  “Furfural gives flavour to our drinks and food!” (see below: Related Articles)

Now, a team of chemists, led by the researchers Elena Benito-Peña and María Cruz Moreno-Bondi from the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM), has developed a simple, low-cost method capable of measuring whether or not beer has gone stale, simply by using a sensor and a smartphone app. The results of the study have been published in the Journal Analytical Chemistry.

Elena Benito-Peña explains to SINC that this development forms part of an INNPACTO project of the Spanish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Competitiveness, in which the UCM has collaborated with the Mahou-San Miguel brewing company.

The researcher points out that up until now brewers have measured furfural –a chemical compound that appears during the aging process of beer and gives it a stale taste– and other freshness indicators using methods based on chromatography techniques. “But these methods involve the use of expensive equipment and sample preparation is very time-consuming,” she highlights.

Sensor discs

The system developed by the researchers at the UCM consists of sensor discs that detect the presence of furfural in beer. These sensors, made from a polymer similar to the one used to manufacture contact lenses, have been designed to change colour (from yellow to pink) when they come into contact with a beer containing furfural.


The sensors change from yellow to pink when they come into contact with a beer containing furfural. (Image: University of Madrid )

“We have incorporated an aniline derivative into the sensor material which reacts with the furfural and produces a pink cyanine derivative that allows us to identify the presence of the marker in the sample. The intensity of the colour increases as the concentration of furfural in the beer rises and, thus, as more time passes since the beer was produced,” explains the chemist.

The team has also created a mobile app for Android smartphones that, by taking a picture of the sensor disc, allows for the identification of the amount of furfural present in the beer. With this data, the degree of freshness can be determined.

The application is available as open source, meaning that any programmer can utilise and modify it to be used on other platforms. In the future it will also be available for Apple IOS.

The low cost method can also be used with other food products such as honey, milk and coffee

Results comparable to more sophisticated methods

Benito-Peña recounts that the idea of developing the new method came about following a meeting with Mahou-San Miguel in which the company spoke about the technical difficulties they were having in detecting furfural directly at the production facilities.

The results of the tests on the new system “have been very satisfactory,” says the co-author. “The measurements have been taken using samples sent directly from the brewing company with different production dates and distinct degrees of aging. These same samples were also sent to a laboratory where they were analysed using gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. The results we obtained were completely comparable,” she emphasises.

The method was initially developed for brewing companies. “Especially, because the global market for this product is huge. But it can also be used with other food products such as honey, milk, coffee, etc.,” indicates the researcher.


The Information and Scientific News Service (SINC) – Spain


Alberto Rico-Yuste, Victoria González-Vallejo, Elena Benito-Peña, Tomás de las Casas Engel, Guillermo Orellana y María Cruz Moreno-Bondi. “Furfural Determination with Disposable Polymer Films and Smartphone-Based Colorimetry for Beer Freshness Assessment”. Analytical Chemistry (2016)

Related Articles

Furfural Derivatives in Apple Cider and Wine

Furfural Derivatives and 170 Year Old Champagne

Wake-up and Smell the Coffee .. its Why Your Cuppa Tastes so Good

  • Flavour
  • Furfural...


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