27 August 2009: The Whitsunday Times reports:
THE Proserpine Sugar Mill furfural plant, the first of it kind in Australia, will start production in September. Proserpine Co-op Sugar Milling Association chief executive officer John Power said furfural commissioning had started and so far those items of the plant that have been tested have operated as planned with only a few minor problems detected.“This week we will be testing the digestors and conducting the final curing of them before we commence testing the production process,” he said.
“We will initially operate the digesters at a lower temperature and pressure and produce xylose; a non-hazardous pre-cursor to furfural.
“This allows the final testing and checking of the plant to be undertaken without the added complexity of furfural being present.
“Once all the material handling problems are solved then the production of furfural can start.”
Furfural is a solvent created by the milling process and is used to make a range of products including paint and pharmaceuticals. Proserpine Co-op Sugar Milling Association will now hold a series of meetings to provide residents the opportunity to learn more about its new furfural plant. The meetings will be held at the Mill Social Club and will start this Sunday.
Residents who live within 500 metres of the plant have been sent an invitation and other people involved with the Proserpine Sugar Mill have also been invited.