Biomass to Market

Furfuryl Alcohol (FA)

Hydrogenation Hydrogenation (Image by DalinYebo)
Furfuryl Alcohol is made by catalytic hydogenation of furfural

FA is manufactured by the hydrogenation (catalytic reduction) of furfural. It can be used as a solvent, but it's more often used as an ingredient in the manufacture of various chemical products such as:

Furan resins, especially foundry resin, which is used as binder of the sand core (NB: This is the major consumer of FF).


Wetting agents.

Anti-corrosion coating.



Organic raw material.

Tetrahydrofurfuryl alcohol (see THFA below).

FA is used to make a variety of furan polymers, used in sealants and cements or in combination with other chemicals to make urea-formaldehyde or phenolic resins. FA is also used as a flavourant.

FA's polymerization characteristics have opened up opportunities in the wood treatment/modification industry: when treated with FA, the characteristics of 'softwoods' are altered so as to make the woods more valuable. One of the characteristics of treated/modified wood is its resistance to infestations (a genuine alternative to replace CCA - copper chromium arsenic - treaded wood!). Another one is its increased hardness in comparison with untreated wood (a genuine alternative to replace tropical hardwood). The first two commercial technologies/processes for the "furfylation" of wood have been introduced and their market acceptance is growing (and with it the demand for FA). This presents an excellent opportunity in that the tropical hard wood and CCA treated wood substitution markets are multi-billion dollar businesses.


Furfuryl Alcohol:


Molecular Weight:

98.10 g/mole

Boiling Point (760 mm Hg):

169.5 oC

Freezing Point:

-14.6 oC

Specific Gravity 25oC/25oC:


Refractive Index 20oC:


Viscosity at 25oC:

4.62 cPs

Flash Point (closed cup):

65 oC

Ignition Temperature:

391 oC

Solubility in Water at 20 oC: