Furfuryl alcohol or 2-(Hydroxymethyl)furan is an organic compound having chemical structure, where a furan ring hydrogen gets substituted with a hydroxymethyl group. This organic compound can be produced through hydrogenation of furfuryl alcohol. The organic compound can be produced from waste vegetable materials such as corn cobs, oat hulls, cane bagasse, rice husk, and others. This chemical is highly reactive owing to its propensity for exothermic polymerization when exposed to acid catalyst. As compared to furfural, this chemical has widespread commercial application such as solvents, foundry resins, adhesives, wetting agents, chemical feedstock for five membered oxygen heterocycles, and others.
On the basis of application, the furfuryl alcohol market has been segmented into furan resins, bio-fuel, tetrahydrofurfuryl alcohol (THFA), flavor and fragrance chemicals, solvents, pharmaceuticals, and pesticides. On the basis of both value and volume, furan foundry binders held the largest share in the market in 2017. Generally, 2-(Hydroxymethyl)furan is used in the furan foundry binders for WARM BOX, HOT-BOX, and Furan NO-BAKE processes.
As a bio-fuel, the compound has been in use for providing energy supply to rocket engine. In 2012, Copenhagen Suborbitals designed a rocket, where combination of concentrated nitric acid and furfural alcohol were used as propellants. With depleting stock of fossil fuel and growing concern regarding its harmful environment impact, demand for the organic compound as carbon neutral energy feedstock is estimated to rise during the forecast period. This in turn, expected to drive the growth of the furfuryl alcohol market in coming years.
On the basis of end user, the market has been segmented into foundry, food and beverages, chemical, energy, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, and others. Both in terms of value and volume, demand for the organic compound in foundry sector is expected to remain highest throughout the forecast period. 2-(Hydroxymethyl)furan can also be used for production of fiber reinforced bioresin. Growth in demand for relatively environment friendly bioresin based composites for developing automobile components and consumer goods is also acting as push factor for the global furfuryl alcohol market.
The major growth drivers for the furfuryl alcohol market are its increasing demand in production of furan resins, and solvents. t. In China, furan resins are widely used as binding agent in metal castings foundries. Growth in foundry sector is China has created surplus demand for furan resins in the country. As furfuryl alcohol is used as primary raw material for production of furan resins, therefore, surplus demand for the later has pushed the market growth of the former. As china holds more than 50% of consumption of furfuryl alcohol, therefore, growth of the Chinese furfuryl alcohol market has positively impacted the growth of the global market.
Volatility in price of feedstock being used for production 2-(Hydroxymethyl)furan is identified as restraining factor for the furfuryl alcohol market. In addition, seasonality of the agricultural raw materials used for production of 2-(Hydroxymethyl)furan is also hampering the growth of the market.
Scientists have found that poly (furfuryl alcohol) can be used as precursor for production of carbon materials and nanocomposites. Increase in applications of carbon materials and nanocomposites in manufacturing sector is expected to fuel the demand for poly (furfuryl alcohol) in coming years, which will create growth opportunity for the furfuryl alcohol market.
Insights by geography
Based on geography, the global furfuryl alcohol market has been segmented into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa, and Latin America. On the basis of both value and volume, Asia-Pacific is expected to dominate the market throughout the forecast period. China is the largest producer as well as consumer of the 2-(Hydroxymethyl)furan in the world. In China, demand for furan resins is growing across different foundries. These foundries serve the need of automotive, machinery, windmill industries. As 2-(Hydroxymethyl)furan is the key raw material for production of furan resins, therefore, increasing demand for furan resin is also supporting the growth of the Chinese furfuryl alcohol market.
Some of the major players operating in the furfuryl alcohol market are TransFurans Chemicals bvba, Tieling North Furfuryl alcohol (Group) Co. Ltd., Hongye holding group corporation limited, DynaChem Incorporated, Nova Molecular Technologies, Inc., Xingtai Chunlei Furfuryl Alcohol Co., Ltd., Penn A Kem LLC, and Zhucheng Taisheng Chemical Co., Ltd.