Furfuryl Alcohol
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Discovery of furfural

1821 Birthday of furfural - the German Chemist, Döbereiner first discovered furfural.
1835-40 Emmett observed that furfural can be obtained from most vegatable substances.
1840 Stenhous assigned the correct empirical formula, C5H4O2 of furfural and recognized the resin-forming tendency of furfural.
1845 Fownes proposed the name "furfurol" (furfur - bran; oleum - oil). In the US the suffix "ol" has been changed to "al" due to the aldehyde function.

Industrial development of furfural

1914-18 American desire for national self-sufficiency - exploration of agricultural wastes for industrial valorization.
1910-20 Researchers of the National Bureau of Chemistry (US) investigated corncobs as feedstock for the manufacture of furfural. During a research project on the digestibility of oat hulls for use in cattle feed, Brownlee demonstrated that the huge Quaker Oats stockpiles of cereal waste were a potential source of furfural.
1922 Furfural came available in quantities of several tons per month from the Quaker Oats Company cereal mill in Cedar Rapids (Iowa, USA).
1923 Durite Plastics Inc. is the first manufacturer of phenol-furfural resins as long-flowing fast-curing phenolics for production of molding compounds.
1925 Cold-molding of resin-bonded abrasive wheels with furfural.
1926 Wood rosin purification with furfural by an extractive distillation technique.
1933 First refining unit for lubricating oils with furfural built by a subsidiary of the Texas Company (Texaco), the Indian Refining Company.
1934 Industrial furfural plant was started up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
1942 Quaker Oats sets up a Chemical Division for its furfural business.
1942 Separation and purification of C4 hydrocarbons by extractive distillation with furfural. For the manufacture of synthetic rubber enormous quantities of pure 1,3-butadiene were needed. Corncobs and cottonseed hulls based plants were added as feedstocks to raise the furfural capacity.
1949 du Pont starts the production of adiponitrile for the manufacture of nylon 6-6 from furfural. Furan, tetrahydrofuran and dichlorobutane are the chemical intermediates in this four step synthesis. This route was instrumental in the development of Polytetramethylene ether glycol.
1951 du Pont's expanding use of furfural was responsible for the construction of a new facility in Omaha Nebraska.
1953 Commercial availability of furfuryl alcohol; today it is the largest volume derivative of furfural.
1953 Tetrahydrofuran available from C4 hydrocarbons (butadiene), available from petroleum.
mid 50's During a joint venture between Quaker Oats and a Dominican sugar mill, nowadays owned by the Central Romana Corporation (1983) FF production was started up outside the US based on sugarcane bagasse.
1955 Commercial manufacture of tetrahydrofurfuryl alcohol, a biodegradable water miscible solvent.
1961 duPont abandones the adiponitrile process from furfural for the butadiene hydrocyanation route.
1958 Introduction of furan resins as binders in the foundry industry with the furan NO-BAKE process (furan - urea resins).
1966 duPont starts up a tetrahydrofuran capacity based on the Reppe synthesis using acetylene and formaldehyde.
1972 Quaker's chemical division has built an additional furfuryl alcohol production facility in Geel, nearby Antwerp (Belgium).
1975 Expansion of the furfuryl alcohol production facility in Geel, Belgium.
1980 Introduction of furfural or furfuryl alcohol modified phenolic resins as binders in the refractory and carbon industry
1994 Incorporation of International Furan Chemicals B.V. in the Netherlands by a group of people who have been involved with the highly specialized market of furfural, furfuryl alcohol and its derivatives for many years.
1995 International Furan Chemicals USA was incorporated in recognition of the North American market.
1998 The Belgian Furfuryl alcohol production facility becomes an independent entity - The name of the new company is TransFurans Chemicals. TransFurans Chemicals is leader in furfuryl alcohol production worldwide.
production furfural
psychical properties
applications of furfural
industrial chemical intermediate
historical overview
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