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).
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.
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