Furfural as feedstock for PET alternatives.

Bio-renewable PEF (polyethylene furanoate) is an alternate and green plastic for soft drink bottles.

Pepsi was the first, but Coca Cola and Danone are also developing/introducing PEF bottles. PEF is made from ethylene glycol and FDCA (furan-2,5-dicarboxylic acid). As with most furfural derivatives, the chemistry is very old (and forgotten?): FDCA was first obtained in 1876 and is derived from furoic acid, which was first described in 1780. FDCA is one of 12 priority chemicals for establishing the “green” chemistry industry of the future, according to the US Department of Energy. 

Furoic acid is made from furfural, which is not rocket science to produce. It has been commercially produced since 1922 and is readily available.

Although there are still technical hurdles to overcome, there are also chemical pathways being developed to commercially produce FDCA from HMF, which is derived from fructose (of saccharified cellulose). Viable options (case studies/models) are suggested in a recently published report [2][3]. Other researchers of microbial metabolism of furanic compounds found that furfural and HMF degradation pathways converge at the level of 2-furoic acid [4].

Why Furfural?

Because it is already commercially made! Therefore, furfural should be the obvious choice as a platform chemical for alternatives to PET or other polymers. Furfural production no longer requires (costly) pilot plants, nor does it have to wait for the eventual construction of the next-generation biorefineries. Most importantly, furfural can be produced from a variety of biomass sources and its production can also be integrated into existing (e.g. sugar) and new agri-processing or bio-mass conversion (e.g. pulp) industries. Furfural production is also well suited to small scale biomass processors (micro-BioRefiners), i.e. in proximity of the biomass supply. Therefore, investments into furfural production can have a direct social-economic impact in creating new green rural jobs, now.  It's an investment into a US$5 billion business, a renaissance of a bio-renwable chemistry that goes beyond green "PET" soda bottles.

Low Cost IP Development

Since 1998, the DalinYebo team has successfully develop and commercialised IP in the furfural industry. Besides the perceived secretiveness of the business, ...

... the biggest revelation for us was the fact that with relatively low development budgets, massive gains can be and are still to be made.

For many biorefiners, furfural is a problem or impurity that has to be removed. The hemicellulose is an integral part of the biomass and likewise our business model and approach to its conversion to furfural is integrated with the biomass processing:

1. We believe that many of the so-called "next generation bio-refining" processes can be adopted in a such a way that the removal of the furfural follows a "more or less" conventional process. Our Trade-Secrets are designed to enable collaborators to create new IP for own use or for licensing. The benefit is (a) a faster and lower-cost process development phase that integrates proven or known technology, which means that (b) investors can go and see "similar" plants that make use of selected unit-processes. Basically, furfural removal is a (paid for) pre-treatment stage of a bio-refinery and the resulting ligoncellulose can be use for the production of C6-molecule based chemicals/fuels or used as fuel for a CHP station. The reason we say "more or less" and "similar": DalinYebo has overhauled and modernised the 1922 process in the way we integrate its mass and energy balance into other processes (e.g. bio-refinery, sugar or pulp mill), so it will look the same, but perform differently. 

In a sense we do to furfural production what AMG does to a Mercedes Benz.

2. Should there be a proprietary process already that contains furfural in the process stream, DalinYebo certainly have the knowhow to assist in figuring out how to remove and commercialise the furfural. We are available to render our services on a consulting basis or find other commercial collaborations that will be of mutual benefit. The roots of our team's knowhow are anchored in sugar milling, pulp & paper, ethanol and chemical production.


Related Articles:

Investment Opportunities

Investor Downloads




[1] B. Kamm, M. Kamm. M. Schmidt, T. Hirth and M. Schulze, Biorefineries – Industrial Processes and Products, ed. B. Kamm, P.R. Gruber and M. Kamm, Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim, Germany, 2006, vol. 2, ch. 3, pp. 97-149.

[2] A. Eerhart, W. J.J. Huijgen, R. J.H. Grisel, J. C. van der Waal, E. de Jong, A. de Sousa Dias, A. Faaij and M. K. Patel, RSC Adv., 2013, DOI: 10.1039/C3RA43512A.

[3] CATalytic conversion of lignocellulose by an organosolv process into FURan derivatives (CATFUR) is part of the EOS Long Term Energy Research Strategy and is funded by a division of the Dutch Ministry of Economics Affairs.

[4] N. Wierckx, F. Koopman, H.J. Ruijssenaars and J.H. de Winde, Microbial degradation of furanic compounds: biochemistry, genetics, and impact, Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2011 December; 92(6): 1095–1105.

  • Furfural
  • PET
  • Bioplastics
  • Furoic Acid
  • FDCA
  • Furfural and its many Byproducts...

Derived from Furfural and Brown Algae

A visible light-curable polysaccharide conjugate was prepared and was included with epidermal growth factor (EGF) for wound healing application[1]. Alginate was modified with furfurylamine, and the furfuryl alginate (F-alginate) was mixed with Rose Bengal for visible light reactivity.

Furfurylamine is synthesized from furfural

Alginate, is an anionic polysaccharide distributed widely in the cell walls of brown algae.

In conclusion, it was demonstrated that the system was useful for wound healing.


[1] Journal of Applied Polymer Science

  • bioengineering
  • Furfural
  • algea
  • pharmaceutical...

Important chemicals for the production of biomass-based monomers

Furfural, which is made form biomass, was used to showcase the synthesis[1] of alternatives to petro-chemical derived polymers (polyesters). These products are identical to their petro-chemical equivalents and can be use to as drop-in substitute to manufacture bio-renewable plastics.

The above tag-cloud represents an analysis of the reference article's abstract.

Also see:

New Green Materials

Bioplastics and Furfural

Furfural and its many By-product


[1] Synthesis of Biomass-Based Monomers from Biomass-Based Furfural for Polyesters and Evaluation of Their Biomass Carbon Ratios

  • Furfural
  • Furfural and its many Byproducts
  • Bioplastics
  • Biorenewable Chemicals
  • polyesters...


It may be a challenge to imagine corncobs powering rockets and it may be even more difficult to believe: This happened already in the 1940s!

Corncobs used to be the feedstock of preference to make furfural in the USA and France. Furfural is the platform chemical from which furfuryl alcohol (FA) is made. Furaline, a mixture of FA (41%), methanol (18%), and xylidine (dimethyl aniline; 41%) is a rocket fuel. The system is "hypergolic": When the furaline comes into contact with the nitric acid, it ignites by itself without external aid[1]. In the early 1940s, the German rocket designers used a hypergolic system of FA ("Fantol") and nitric acid to ignite their gasoline propelled Enzian and Schmetterling missiles[2].

image In 1947, the first furaline liquid propellant rocket engine (LPRE) was unveiled for an anti-aircraft missile[3]. Already in 1952 the first manned flight with a furaline rocket-boosted aircraft took place in France[4]. On the 9 September 1954, the first rocket propelled flight of the SO-9000 Trident was undertaken by SANSCO (now part of EADS) . The Trident was a prototype interceptor and could achieve a top speed of Mach 1.63. After completion of the test programme, the aircraft was retired to the Musée de l'air et de l'espace at Le Bourget Airport (Paris, France) . Trident development program was replaced by the development of the Mirage III, which used a different LPRE fuel. Furaline continued to fuel Russian, American and French missiles and rockets.

In 2013, FA continues to be part of hypergolic rocket propulsion systems[5] or rocketry[6].

Furaline was used by: - VERONIQUE rocket (France) - EMERAUDE rocket (France) - CORPORAL rockets (USA)

" ... it is only a lack of research which prevents furfural and its derivatives from flooding the world in a stunning variety of different applications.


[1] The chemistry and technology of furfural and its many by-products, Dr. Karl Joachim Zeitsch

[2] and

[3] Goolge Books: History of Liquid Propellant Rocket Engines, George Paul Sutton

[4] Google Books: Rocketing Into the Future: The History and Technology of Rocket Planes, Michel van Pelt

[5] 3-Nov-2013, :

[6] 3-Nov-2013, Spectra: and

  • Furfural
  • furaline
  • fuel
  • Biofuels
  • Rocketfuels
  • Jetfuels...

Its about kinetics and the control valve.

image In our "Applied Knowhow" article, we describe the background and outline why we offer the most economical and fit-for-purpose biomass-processing technologies to make furfural.

Specifically, we provide



Which includes

Access to Market

With our CLIENTS, we share our understanding of ...

... the furfural market (Not import statistics, but who is buying, where and who from).

... how the furfural market price is determined.

... market trends (downstream uses: traditional and new).

  • knowhow
  • markets
  • Technology
  • Furfural...
Back to top