Furfural Market size is forecast to reach $735.3 million by 2025, after growing at a CAGR of 4.8% during 2020-2025. Furfural is a highly valuable chemical compound. It is colorless, motile, and clear liquid that has a distinct almond benzaldehyde odor. It is also commonly called as furfurol, fural, 2-furfuraldehyde, 2-furanaldehyde, furaldehyde, and 2-furancarboxaldehyde. It is generally produced from the agricultural biomass that has pentosans. The major drivers for the furfural market are the tightening of regulations globally in regards to air pollution standards. Furfurals are green chemicals as the raw materials are extracted from the Agricultural feedstock and lignocellulosic feedstock. The other driver is the public awareness towards the inadequate sources of fossil raw materials. Furfurals replace these fossil materials and are used as alternatives. The rise in demand for non-toxic furfural as solvents in refining petroleum is also a driver in the furfural market.
By Process – Segment Analysis
Chinese Batch Process segment held a significant share in furfural market in 2019. This process is majorly used in China, which is the largest manufacturer across the globe. Quaker batch process is one of the oldest manufacturing processes, while others are modified versions of the former processes. The major difference between the Quaker batch and Rosenlew continuous processes is that the former uses sulfuric acid as a catalyst, while the latter does not require a separate catalyst.
Rosenlew continuous process is the simplest of all, has trouble-free operation characteristics, and needs comparatively less maintenance. However, this process is not preferred by small- and medium-scale manufacturers as it uses a large quantity of steam, and the production yield is low, thereby resulting in high production cost. The majority of the manufacturers prefer the Chinese batch process as it is inexpensive.
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By Raw Material – Segment Analysis
Corncobs segment held a significant share in furfural market in 2019. The yield from corncob is the maximum, thus, marking corncob the most desirable raw material for production. In addition, corncob, when used as a biomass feedstock, delivers promising opportunities for renewable energy creation. Sugarcane bagasse is a significant agro-industrial byproduct. Large quantities of sugarcane bagasse are easily accessible at low cost in several sugarcane-processing manufacturing facilities, including sugar mills and independent distilleries. Furthermore, a gas-fired boiler in sugar mills can be used to increase the production of bagasse to obtain it as a raw material for production. The storing of bagasse is expensive and complicated, so a furfural unit must be positioned near a sugar mill.
By Application – Segment Analysis
Solvents segment held a significant share in furfural market in 2019. Furfural is used as a solvent in refining of variety of operations and processes such as butadiene extraction, lubrication oils, and others. Furfural is majorly used in the manufacturing of furfuryl alcohol. It is industrially produced by the catalytic hydrogenation of furfural under high pressures. It is widely used in the plastic and resins. With the growing research activities in the field of rocketry fuel, the consumption of furfuryl alcohol is likely to boost the market for furfural. Furfuryl alcohol is majorly used for the production of furan resin that is used as a foundry sand binder. According to the IKB Deutsche Industriebank, the foundry industry is expected to grow in the coming years, majorly driven by the emerging markets. The growth of the foundry industry is expected to increase the demand for foundry resins. This, in turn, is likely to drive the demand for furfuryl alcohol, globally.
By End-User Industry – Segment Analysis
Agriculture segment held a significant share in furfural market in 2019 growing at a CAGR of XX% during the forecast period. Owing to their use in revolutionized pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, and other synthetic chemical compounds, Agriculture industry is expected to dominate the market. However, agricultural formulations will continue to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period owing to support from government organizations to promote the adoption of bio-based pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, and other chemical compounds. The product is also used as a weed killer in horticulture. It is a contact nematicide, mechanically incorporated or moved into the soil during irrigation, and used in reasonably low concentrations. As an agrochemical, it is comparatively harmless and easy to apply.
Furfural is used as an intermediate in the synthesis of pharmaceuticals and as an essential fragment of pharmaceutical building blocks. The product is recorded as an active ingredient in veterinary products in Drug Products Database. Moreover, in petroleum refineries, solvent application of the organic compound is used.
The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent halt in manufacturing activities shall have an impact on the supply availability of a variety of renewable chemicals. Furthermore, current disruption in trade shall also gravely impact the availability of chemical stocks in import-dependent countries.
Geography- Segment Analysis
Asia Pacific dominated the furfural market with a share of more than XX%, followed by North America and Europe Asia-Pacific region is holding a major share of the market in the consumption and production of furfuryl alcohol with the increasing population and the concern for renewable materials. In addition, Asia-Pacific is leading market for furan foundry binder resins, which is produced with the help of furfuryl alcohol. Therefore, strong demand for furfuryl alcohol in Asia-Pacific is supporting the growth of the furfural industry in this region. . Low manufacturing costs, increase in disposable incomes, and availability of raw materials in Asia Pacific drive the market in the region.
Drivers – Furfural Market
Growing demand for furfuryl alcohol
Furfuryl alcohol is a chemical, which is derived from furfural. Furfuryl alcohol plays a vital role in the production of foundry sand binders due to its high reactivity. This alcohol has been extensively used for producing cores and mold for metal for many decades. It is also used in the production of tetrahydrofurfuryl alcohol (THFA), which is widely used in the pharmaceutical industry. According to the World Foundry Organization, the foundry industry is expected to grow by 13.0-14.0% until 2025 in India, which is expected to be the second-largest foundry market in the world, after China. Therefore, the growing foundry industry is leading to the demand for furfuryl alcohol, thereby boosting the market for furfural.
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Challenges – Furfural Market
Availability of crude oil-based alternatives
The availability of crude oil-based alternative products, which are relatively cheaper, is restraining the market for furfural. Furan resin is used in the foundry industry for preparing binders. However, phenolic resin, which is obtained from crude oil, is cheaper than furan resin, according to various primary respondents. Also, butanediol (BDO) is used in polytetramethylene ether glycol (PTMEG) for the production of spandex, which is used in the textile industry. THF, which is a derivative of furfural, can be used for the production of spandex, but its higher cost due to the processing of furfural makes it less preferable than BDO.
Technology launches, acquisitions and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in the furfural market. In 2019, the market of furfural has been consolidated by the top five players accounting for xx% of the share. Major players in the furfural market are Central Romana Corporation, Ltd., Hongye Holding Corporation Ltd., Illovo Sugar Ltd., Lenzing AG, Penn A Kem LLC, Silvateam SpaIN., Tanin Senvica d.d., Aurus Specialty Company, Henan Huilong Chemical Co., Ltd., Shandong Crownchem Industries Co., Ltd., and Tieling North Furfural (Group) Co., Ltd. among others.
In 2016, an India-based Company, KRBL set up a furfuryl alcohol plant at Bhasaur, Dhuri District, Sangrur in the state of Punjab at a total cost of more than US$ 2.0 Mn. The company, through this plant, intends to convert furfuryl oil into refined furfuryl alcohol, as there is huge demand for furfuryl alcohol in India.
New product developments and increasing investments in research and development of furfuryl alcohol are expected to drive the growth of this market.
Among end-user, agriculture segment is projected to lead the fufural market during the forecast period.
Asia Pacific dominated the furfural market.
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