13/07/13: 76,900 hits! Moving into the lime-light?

Karl's book was published in 2000. His legacy lives on: We notice that an increasing number of scientists refer to this book on their road to produce an amazing range of chemicals from furfural.


We not only treasure the original manuscript, but also his memory and other unpublished documents: He was simply ahead of his time and his hope that the book "rouse the interest and inventiveness of a new generation" is gradually fulfilled. 

  • zeitsch
  • Furfural
  • Furfural and its many Byproducts...

A true South African Story

Not much seems to have changed (in South Africa), since we first told the story in 2006 (we presented the these slides to a Fossil Fuel Foundation workshop) .. but we have ... and offer alternatives, e.g. GreenEnergyPark™, µ-BioRefinery™ or Paid4PreTreatment™.

Our conclusions are still the same. For a successful bio-based economy to evolve, it needs:

Clear political instructions

A capable and highly funded venture capital industry

But, in our humble opinion, the key ingredient needed is "Union Spirit", a willingness to collaborate, to step out of ring-fencing everything (e.g. IP) with the sole purpose to maximise profits or living in silos producing academic outcomes that are 'interesting', but disconnected from the reality of business. Therefore, our contribution to an open innovation space is the development and sharing of knowhow on the pretreatment of biomass in a biorefinery that pays for itself and customises lignocellulosic residue for further processing (cellulosic ethanol, dissolving pulp, biogas, electricity, etc. etc.)



Download the PDF with the speaker's notes (for registered users)

DalinYebo Business Model


For Investors

  • Biorenewable Chemicals
  • Furfural
  • presentation...

Gianluca Marcotullio @ UNECE/FAO Workshop St. Petersburg, May 2013
 click on the presentation
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Index & Links

A network of knowledge for Furfural technology


Lignocellulosic biorefineries

Furfural Important dates


Biorefineries based on Furfural production

Present-day production processes

Main results of the research at TU Delft 

Furfural integration in an EtOH based biorefinery

Furfural integration in a biorefinery 

Furfural integration in Pulp & Paper: The BBS plug-in

The μ-Biorefinery concept  

Furfural market overview



  • Biorefineries
  • Furfural
  • presentation
  • BBSBiorefining™...

Agri-biomass processing: Chemicals, Electricity & Jobs!

The proposed first commercially viable GreenEnergyPark™ biorefinery in Western KwaZulu-Natal will use maizecobs as its biomass feedstock. First production is proposed for 2016, reaching full capacity by 2019. The target output of the biorefinery is 6,000 tpa of a biorenewable industrial chemical (furfural) and energy equivalent of min. 1 MW electricity.

The investment will be in the order of R130million and is based on the pre-feasibility study and pro-forma business plan. They will provide the foundation for the development of the project in four distinct stages. The estimated seed-funding required to develop the “roadmap” (scoping phase) is ±R2million. Harvesting cobs will increase farming production margins in the order of 5%-10% per ha. This is a strong incentive to produce more maize in KZN and supply the required cob quantity. This symbiotic relationship is central to the success of the project, which is estimated to contribute in excess of R380million per year to the KZN economy and create over 15,000 permanent jobs.

The uThukela GreenEnergyPark™ concept plan.


uThukela GreenEnergyPark™ - Investor Presentation

Creating Wealth from ag residues: Cobelec - Investor Presentation

GreenEnergyPark™: Turning corncobs into chemicals and energy is the core of the GreenEnergyPark™, which provides the infrastructure for other enterprises (most likely, but not exclusively) in the agri-processing sector.

DalinYebo Business Model


For Investors

  • GreenEnergyPark™
  • Biomass
  • Furfural
  • Electricity
  • Corncobs...

Furfural gives flavour to our drinks and food!

February 2013: A method published to determine furfural derivatives [including 5-hydroxymethyl-2-furaldehyde (5-HMFD), 4-hydroxy-2,5-dimethyl-3(2H)-furanone (4-HDMF), 2-furoic acid (2-FA), 2-furaldehyde (2-F), 3-furaldehyde (3-F), 2-acetylfuran (2-AF), 5-methyl-2-furaldehyde (5-MFD), methyl 2-furoate (MFT), 2-propionylfuran (2-PF) and ethyl 2-furoate (EFT)], brought back memories.

In 1999, our mentor, Dr. Karl Zeitsch pointed out, with reference to Chem. Abstr. 130 [1999], that "Furfural is a significant component of wines and fruit juices, as it is a natural degradation product of vitamin C (ascorbic acid). The older the wine, the more furfural." Furfural is also a significant component of coffee (Chem. Abstr. 126 [1997]).


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

  • Furfural
  • Furfural and its many Byproducts
  • ascorbic acid
  • coffee
  • wine
  • cider...
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