Press Release

Verification Run Confirms a 77.5% Yield

"... improved process yields, less steam consumption and less (and treatable) effluent ..."

7 October 2002 -- Durban, South Africa. International Furan Technology (IFT) reports that the SupraYield® technology used for the manufacture of furfural exceeded the 75% yield target. 

The purpose of the pilot plant was the demonstration, operation and fine-tuning of the SupraYield® process on a sustainable basis using a variety of feedstock and to verify its claims with regard to improved process yields, less steam consumption and less (and treatable) effluent. Over 175 trails have been executed since Sep’01 and 15 different raw materials have been tested.

The process performance as been verified by Prof. D.R. Arnold, Head of School of Chemical Engineering, University of Natal, Durban. The objectives of the verification run were set as follows:

  • To monitor a pilot plant run and guarantee the results.

  • To ensure the experimental methods and analytical procedures used in the pilot plant tests are valid.

  • To confirm process integrity by observing that the pilot plant runs were replicated in a controlled, pre-determined manner.

Professor Arnold concludes as follows:

  • The SupraYield® process, as demonstrated on the pilot plant produces furfural from sunflower husks.

  • The yield of furfural is 77.5% of theoretical or 96.9kg unrefined furfural per tonne of sunflower husks, as received.

  • The effluent produced by the process is lower in quantity than existing processes

  • Acetic acid concentrations are lower in concentration.

  • No evaluation of final furfural product was made.

  • On inspection, the quality of furfural produced will be expected to be as good as existing plants.

In seven more runs between the 17th September and the 3rd October 2002, using a range of conditions, the pilot plant operated by IFT staff achieved an average production of 96,95 kg furfural/ton of sunflower seed hulls. This equates to a ± 1.5% variation between runs and repeated the verification run.

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