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Paid4PreTreatment™: Smart integration of furfural production

In July 2013, we reported on the potential that distiller's grain has for furfural production. The smart integration of furfural production into the mass and energy balance (The-Right-Balance™: in this case of a corn ethanol plant) results in energy savings, an additional saleable product (furfural) and an improved end product (in this case animal feed). These improvements were highlighted by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA) in a process and economic study[1]:

Furfural was produced from DDG while animal feed value of DDG was also retained.

Furfural was produced through dilute acid reaction followed by batch or BRD process.

BRD was superior to batch method in furfural yield and purity.

The economic model predicted an increased profitability for corn ethanol plants.

Animal feed yield was crucial to the economy of the furfural conversion process.

The basis of their economic evaluation is based on assuming favourable inputs (e.g. highest furfural price, best yields, experimental laboratory and mathematical modelling conditions, etc.).

Our review this publication, against our practical furfural processes experience, predicts a lower benefit than the study suggests.

However, it is important to note that there is certainly a benefit (!) and, in addition, there are other untapped downstream revenue potentials.

Also see:

For our clients, we publishes a critical review on this paper and, in our view, a more realistic re-evaluation of this great economic potential.

Biomass for furfural production: Distiller's Grain

Connecting-the-Dots™

Reference:

[1] dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.indcrop.2014.02.025, Co-production of feed and furfural from dried distillers’ grains to improve corn ethanol profitability, Department of Biological Systems Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI 53706, United States

  • Furfural
  • distiller's grain
  • feed
  • corn
  • maize...
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Furfuryl Mercaptan: The good smell of roasted coffee

Although in concentrated form, furfuryl mercaptan is a foul smelling compound. In 1926 it was already patented as coffee’s main odor active compound. It is a furan molecule substituted with a sulfanylmethyl group and is a clear colourless liquid when pure, but it becomes yellow coloured upon prolonged standing.

flavorscientist.com: Furfuryl mercaptan (otherwise known as coffee mercaptan) is the characterizing component of coffee. Coffee flavor and Furfuryl mercaptan are generated by a roasting process and a chemical reaction called the Maillard reaction. The Maillard reaction is one of the most important reactions in food flavor development. The Maillard reaction is between a carbonyl group (sugar) and an amino compound (protein). Degradation of the condensation products of this reaction give a number of oxygenated compounds; such as furans, pyrazines, pyrroles, oxazoles, thiophenes, thiazoles and other heterocyclic compounds.

Furfuryl mercaptan is found in other roasted foods: beef, pork, chicken and popcorn.

coffeechemistry.com: What else is your cup of coffee?

Also see:

Furfural Derivatives in Apple Cider and Wine

The expert panel of FEMA (Flavor and Extract Manufacturers' Association) assessed Furfural as GRAS (generally recognised as safe). More ..

  • Furfural and its many Byproducts
  • coffee
  • Flavour...
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Tracking Furfural Prices for (almost) 20 Years

Furfural is a B2B trade and market data is not easily available to market outsiders. DalinYebo's prices are based on our own trading insights. Market statistics are obtained from global trade statistics, using the harmonised tariff code (29321200).

For 10 years, until 2009, furfural prices have remained in a relatively stable band of between $650/t and $1,200/t FOB (CMP). During this period, the Chinese were found guilty (in the US and Europe) of dumping, which to some degree explains the low prices. In recent years, however, internal demand has absorbed Chinese production capacity. China has from time to time started to import furfural. China has ±80% of the global furfural production capacity and consumes about ±75% of it. Therefore, the global furfural prices are determined by domestic Chinese issues, such as droughts/floods, labour costs, feedstock costs/availability, government policies (e.g. anti-pollution or finance, etc.).

It's complicated: Based on above price determinants and given the current economic outlook for 2014, we expect the prices to remain in a US$1,400/t to US$1,500/t FOB (CMP) price range.

Also see:

Furfural Price Tracker (for registered users)

Market Analysis (Abstract) (for registered users)

The Pricing of Furfural (in China) (for our client users)

Market Access: Masterkey

Marketing: DalinYebo Trading and Development (Pty) Ltd

About Biomass & 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.

For our clients, we provide regular updates on furfural price and volume trends. We also identify market and business growth opportunities.

This article is part of a series on "biomass for furfural" production, which provides our clients with updates and analysis on the fundamentals and competitiveness of a variety of feedstock and their conversion to chemicals and energy (incl. biofuels).

  • china
  • Furfural
  • Furfural Markets
  • Furfural Price...
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 Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable (Kenyan proverb).

There is a strong case to be made for a co-operative, biobased economy in Africa ..

.. and that therefore includes small, decentralised, rural production units, which form part of a greater supply chain. Africa specifically and emerging economies (BRICS) in general, have enormous agricultural land development potential. Our µ-BioRefinery™ is geared towards enabling small-scale processing of (non-food) biomass in rural areas. Besides its ability of processing agricultural residues that can be removed without negative impact on soil or water, our micro-biorefining approach also offers a selection of "energy" crops that are suitable for many African growing conditions. The µ-BioRefinery™ will bring additional revenue to small-holder farmers and will empower these farmers to move from subsistence farming to participating in the sustainable growth of the green economic.

DalinYebo's holistic approach in Connecting-The-Dots™ of the entire biomass-to-market value chain provides knowhow that extends beyond the optimising/maximising technical aspects or implementing projects. That is why our team consists not only of technical and projects specialists, but also includes professionals from and farming, biomass transport/logistics, plant breeding, plant pathology, genetics, biotechnology, marketing, economy and accounting.

Socio-economic Impact

Job creation is a key-focus of our activities. In collaboration with a rural development NGO, we determined that at least 1 new direct and permanent job is created per 2 ha (Reference: uThukela GreenEnergyPark™ concept plan). Assuming a greenfields cluster of three µ-BioRefineries, using sweet stem sorghum as its feedstock, the newly created jobs in the farming sector would be ±5,000. Using a conservative multiplier, once can expect in excess of 12,000 new and permanent jobs.

The above business cluster projects a combined annual income of R0.55 billion (US$55 million). In South Africa, we have identified at least 5 areas for the development of these clusters. Then there is the rest of Africa and the BRICS: Economy-Of-Numbers at its best!

Achieving the Millennium Goals

The values of co-operation – equity, solidarity, self-help and mutual responsibility – are cornerstones of our shared endeavour to build a fairer world. (Kofi Annan, 29/06/2001)

The collaborative economic approach of the µ-BioRefinery™ recognises the contribution SMMEs or co-operatives can make to achieving the Millennium goals of full and productive employment, eradicating poverty, enhancing social integration and promoting the advancement of women.

Connecting-The-Dots™

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Click on the image to learn more about how we connect the dots

Related Sites

Connecting-The-Dots™ (Creating Biobased Businesses: About our experience to connect the many "dots" of the value chains that every successful biobased business needs)

µ-BioRefinery™ (in propinquitatem ad biomasa; Bringing biorefining in proximity to biomass)

GreenEnergyPark™ (Smart biomass - agricultural/forest residues - conversions to energy, chemicals and commercial products)

International Furan Technology (An independent developer and implementer of furfural process technologies)

Connecting-The-Dots™

This article is part of a series of reflections on how we see the dots connecting in the creation of a biobased industry. We comment on the (South African) biomass processing space, its current status and (future) opportunities. DalinYebo provides a fundamentally practical approach for a competitive conversion of a variety of biomass feedstock to chemicals and energy (incl. biofuels).

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

-> For owners of biomass we offer technology and market access, creating investment opportunities in the cleantech space.

The essential technical challenge facing us, and the world in general, is the complete beneficiation of cellulosic material. We strive to provide viable and practical solution. Contact us to discuss the economic potential of your biomass.
  • MicroBioRefinery™
  • GreenEnergyPark™
  • investment
  • Jobs...
Read more ...

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Biorefining: Create Shareholder Value or(/and) Jobs!

The "Low-hanging Fruit" offers shareholders in the sugar or pulp & paper industry a low risk expansion opportunity into the future of bioenergy/biochemicals.

The pulp & paper as well as the sugar industries are large employers and have the ability to create additional and especially to maintain current jobs. In order to remain globally competitive, we suggest that these industries have to invest in improving energy efficiencies, reduce water consumption and optimise their biomass value chains.

During our ten years of active R&D involvement, we discovered that beneficiating biomass requires far less innovation than hands-on practical knowhow on applying known systems and proven technologies. E.g. the benefit of demonstrating proven technology in a novel combination will by far outweigh the outcome of investing in biorefinery R&D!

There are existing (fit-for-purpose) bolt-on biorefining technologies available that don't need R&D to convert the "low-hanging fruit". Biofuels/bioenergy is still a 'newish' territory and needs perhaps loan-guarantees in addition to the (e.g. R&D) tax incentives to motivate existing industries to pursue this avenue. There are is also a (perceived) lack of government policy that would speed-up the introduction of e.g 1G or 2G bioethanol into the fuel supply or to accept biobased electricity from the above two industries into the grid.

The "Low-hanging Fruit" is the forbidden fruit, if you want to create long-term jobs.

South Africa has vast tracts of land that can be developed, but they are not suitable for timber or sugarcane. In South Africa's rural areas the unemployment figures are in excess of 35%. The employment share of the agricultural sector is only approximately 8%. Therefore: Is it not obvious on what biorefining developments have to focus on?

The absence of a "client" for the farmers to supply their biomass to is one of the key strategies behind the creation of the GreenEnergyPark™ or the µ-BioRefinery™ developments. Based on proven technology, these biorefineries are able to process different non-food biomass or agricultural residues of the food-chain, which can be removed from the fields without negative impact on soil or water. They are small factories and each one of them can become a node in a web of rural economic development (See "Economy of Numbers vs. Economy of Scale").

Scope of Technologies & Services

Click on the individual images to reveal article

Related Sites

Connecting-The-Dots™ (Creating Biobased Businesses: About our experience to connect the many "dots" of the value chains that every successful biobased business needs)

µ-BioRefinery™ (in propinquitatem ad biomasa; Bringing biorefining in proximity to biomass)

GreenEnergyPark™ (Smart biomass - agricultural/forest residues - conversions to energy, chemicals and commercial products)

International Furan Technology (An independent developer and implementer of furfural process technologies)

Connecting-The-Dots™

This article is part of a series of reflections on how we see the dots connecting in the creation of a biobased industry. We comment on the (South African) biomass processing space, its current status and (future) opportunities. DalinYebo provides a fundamentally practical approach for a competitive conversion of a variety of biomass feedstock to chemicals and energy (incl. biofuels).

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

-> For owners of biomass we offer technology and market access, creating investment opportunities in the cleantech space.

The essential technical challenge facing us, and the world in general, is the complete beneficiation of cellulosic material. We strive to provide viable and practical solution. Contact us to discuss the economic potential of your biomass.
  • investments
  • Jobs
  • MicroBioRefinery™
  • GreenEnergyPark™...
Read more ...
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