Biomass to Market

Tetrahydrofurfuryl Alcohol (THFA)

THFA from FA THFA from FA (Image by DalinYebo)
Tetrahydrofurfuryl Alcohol (THFA) from Furfuryl Alcohol

THFA is a green (EPA approved) solvent and a chemical intermediate for the pharmaceutical and chemical specialities sector (e.g. agricultural, cleaning, coating and paint stripper formulations).

Fuel Additive - Market Potential

A few of the market developments, that we have identified in 2002, are gaining momentum!
When informed of the apparent successful testing of THFA as a fuel (diesel) additive, which allows the mixing of Ethanol into diesel for a cleaner fuel, one of our associates translated this potential as follows:

The total world consumption of diesel fuel is 200 billion gallons per annum

Europe: was 50 billion

At 10% ethanol and 5% market share, the total European ethanol demand would be 250 million gallons.

80,000 metric tons per year of THFA required, based on:

At 10% in the ethanol and ~7 lbs/gallon furfural

Properties (Tetrahydrofurfuryl Alcohol (THFA): Tetrahydro-2-furanmethanol)

Molecular Weight:

102.130 g/mole

Boiling Point (760 mm Hg):

178 oC

Freezing Point:

-80 oC

Specific Gravity d204:


Refractive Index nD19:


Viscosity at 25oC:

6.24 cP

Flash Point (closed cup):

83.9 oC

Ignition Temperature:

282  oC

Solubility in Water:



LD50 (oral) for a mouse:       2300 mg/kg

LD50 (oral) for a rat:            2500 mg/kg

LD50 (oral) for a guinea pig: 3000 mg/kg

Massive doses of THFA vapour produce a narcotic effect. THFA is slightly irritating to the human skin, and severely irritating to the eyes of albino rabbits. When young adult albino rabbits were exposed    to air containing 4700 ppm if THFA for a period of 4 hours, no death occurred during the subsequent 14-day observation period, and body weight gains were within normal limits.

Additional Information

Dr K J Zeitsch: The Chemistry and Technology of Furfural and its Many By-Products

For Health and Safety information and guidelines, we suggest you refer to www sites such as the one of US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)