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Phase-Xs | Biologics & Biosimilars | Coherent Market Insights

Furfural Market Overview

Furfural is an organic compound derived from plant materials such as corncobs, oat, wheat bran, rice husk, bagasse, and saw dust. It is usually produced from agricultural wastes rich in pentosans that are hydroysed to produce furfural and its byproducts. Furfural is a colorless oil that readily dissolves in various organic solvents and is slightly soluble in water. It exhibits chemically similar properties as that of other aldehydes and aromatic compounds. It can be readily hydrogenated to tetrahydrofurans derivatives, which when are heated with acids results into solidified polymer or thermosetting polymer. Hence, it is commercially considered as a renewable, non-petroleum based chemical feedstock. Due to these properties, it is widely used in application industries such as petroleum, agriculture, paints & coatings, and pharmaceuticals. Increasing environmental concerns of fossil resources has led to rise in production of renewable alternatives as suitable biomass-based platform chemicals. The U.S. Department of Energy has also selected furfural as one of the top 30 platform chemicals derived from biomass. Furfural production was pioneered in 1921 by the Quaker Oats Company using oat hulls, corncobs, and bagasse. In 2014, around 300 to 700 kilotons of furfural was produced worldwide, of which China contributed a major share. Significant improvements in the production methods of furfural and its increasing incorporation in a wide range of applications have resulted into furfural emerging as a widely used biomass-based chemical.

Global Furfural Taxonomy

The global furfural market is classified on the basis of the following segments:

  • By application
    • Furfural alcohol
    • Solvents
    • Others
  • By raw materials
    • Corn cob
    • Rice husk
    • Bagasse
    • Others
  • By end-use industry
    • Petroleum
    • Agriculture
    • Paints & coatings
    • Pharmaceutical
    • Others

Prevalent Scenario in Furfural Market

Increasing inclination of the populace towards renewable energy to replace fossil resources is a major factor driving growth of the furfural market. Due to its key attributes of thermosetting properties, physical strength, and corrosion resistance, furfural has emerged as an immediate alternative to furan-based chemicals. Also, it is derived from abundantly available biomass, which makes it a highly preferred biomass-based chemical. Furfural is mainly used to produce furfuryl alcohol, which is widely used in manufacturing polymers, textiles, and construction materials. The raw materials for furfural production are the agricultural wastes which are widely available in the Asia-Pacific region, especially in China, India, Indonesia, and Malaysia. The abundant availability of raw materials and low cost labor available in these countries is another factor driving the furfural market in Asia Pacific. Hence, it is also widely used in production of agricultural formulations such as herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, and other synthetic chemical compounds. The rising trend of incorporation of natural or bio-based chemicals into pharmaceutical industry has led the manufacturers to invest in technologies to broaden the furfural application into pharmaceutical and cosmetic products. However, inefficient technology resulting in low yields and complex production process of furfural restrains the growth of the market. However, increasing government initiatives for use of bio-chemicals into different applications create opportunities for the furfural manufacturers to invest into research and development of the furfural products and their applications. For instance, the government of Alberta has taken initiatives to link the consumer facing brands with biochemicals and conventional petrochemical industries, which has resulted in increase in investments in the biochemical sector in Alberta. Various research studies are being conducted for low costs production of furfural, though they are not commercially operational processes. Moreover, changing prices of raw materials pose threat to the growth of the market. Asia-Pacific region dominates the furfural market due to abundantly availability of raw materials and rapidly growing infrastructure industry. Europe records for fastest growth rate due to increasing incorporation of bio-based chemicals in petroleum refineries and pharmaceutical industries in the region.

Fragmented Market

The global furfural market is highly fragmented due to the presence of many established and local players across the world. Major players involved in the market include Hongye Holding Group Corporation Ltd., Arcoy Biorefinery Pvt. Ltd., Corporation, Ltd., Central Romana, KRBL Ltd., Illovo Sugar Ltd., Lenzing AG, Penn A Kem LLC, Tanin Sevnica d.d., Linzi Organic Chemicals Inc. Ltd., Tieling North Furfural (Group) Co., Ltd., Silvateam S.p.A., and Xingtai Chunlei Furfuryl Alcohol Co., Ltd.

Key Developments

  • In July 2018, Sappi Global, a South Africa based supplier of wood fiber products announced construction of demonstration plant for scale up of Xylex technology for production of furfural and xylitol. After the successful demonstration, the company announced its plans to construct commercial furfural plants in the U.S. and South Africa.
  • In May 2018, Fortum, Chempolis and Numaligarh Revinery Ltd. collaborated to develop bio refinery to convert 300,000 tons of bamboo to furfural, ethanol, biocoal and acetic acid in Assam, India for use as a fuel in combined heat and power plant. The project is expected to commence its operations by 2020.
  • In March 2018, Attis Innovations, partnered with the University of Florida Southwest Florida Research and Education Center and the Gulf Citrus Growers Association to evaluate citrus trees as a feedstock to convert it into furfural, cellulose, glucose and others using the Attis biorefining technology, which is used to separate and convert biomass into cellulosic ethanol, furfural, etc.

Research Methodology

Coherent Market Insights followsa comprehensive research methodology focused on providing the most precise market analysis. The company leverages a data triangulation model which helps company to gauge the market dynamics and provide accurate estimates. Key components of the research methodologies followed for all our market reports include:

  • Primary Research (Trade Surveys and Experts Interviews)
  • Desk Research
  • Proprietor Data Analytics Model

In addition to this, Coherent Market Insights has access to a wide range of the regional and global reputed paid data bases, which helps the company to figure out the regional and global market trends and dynamics. The company analyses the industry from the 360 Degree Perspective i.e. from the Supply Side and Demand Side which enables us to provide granular details of the entire ecosystem for each study. Finally, a Top-Down approach and Bottom-Up approach is followed to arrive at ultimate research findings.

Data Triangulation Methodology | Coherent Market Insights

Coherent Market Insights desk research is based on a principle set of research techniques:

  • National level desk research: It Includes research analysis of regional players, regional regulatory bodies, regional trade associations, and regional organization.
  • Multinational level desk research: The research team keeps a track of multinational players, global regulatory bodies, global trade associations, and global organization.

Coherent Market Insights has a large amount of in-house repository of industry database. This is leveraged as a burner for initiating a new research study. Key secondary sources include:

  • Governmental bodies, National and international social welfare institutions, and organizations creating economic policies among others.
  • Trade association, National and international media and trade press.
  • Company Annual reports, SEC filings, Corporate Presentations, press release, news, and specification sheet of manufacturers, system integrators, brick and mortar - distributors and retailers, and third party online commerce players.
  • Scientific journals, and other technical magazines and whitepapers.

Market Analysis | Coherent Market Insights

Preliminary Data Mining

The raw data is obtained through the secondary findings, in house repositories, and trade surveys. It is then filtered to ensure that the relevant information including industry dynamics, trends, and outlook is retained for further research process.

Data Standardization

Holistic approach is used to ensure that the granular and uncommon parameters are taken into consideration to ensure accurate results. The information from the paid databases are further combined to the raw data in order to standardize it.

Coherent Statistical model

We arrive at our final research findings through simulation models. Coherent Data Analytics Model is a statistical tool that helps company to forecast market estimates. Few of the parameters considered as a part of the statistical model include:

  • Micro-economic indicators
  • Macro-economic indicators
  • Environmental indicators
  • Socio-political indicators
  • Technology indicators

Data Processing

Once the findings are derived from the statistical model, large volume of data is process to confirm accurate research results. Data analytics and processing tools are adopted to process large chunk of collected informative data. In case, a client customizes the study during the process, the research finding till then are benchmarked, and the process for new research requirement is initiated again.

Data Validation

This is the most crucial stage of the research process. Primary Interviews are conducted to validate the data and analysis. This helps in achieving the following purposes:

  • It provides first-hand information on the market dynamics, outlook, and growth parameters.
  • Industry experts validates the estimates which helps the company to cement the on-going research study.
  • Primary research includes online surveys, face-to face interviews, and telephonic interviews.

The primary research is conducted with the ecosystem players including, but not limited to:

  • Raw Material Suppliers
  • Manufacturers
  • System Integrators
  • Distributors
  • End-users

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