27th May 2015
Furfural (2-Furaldehyde) is an aromatic aldehyde derived from a variety of agricultural by-products. The name comes from the Latin word “furfur”, meaning bran, referring to its usual source. Many plant materials contain the polysaccharide hemicellulose, a polymer of sugars containing five carbon atoms each. When heated with sulfuric acid, hemicellulose undergoes hydrolysis to yield principally xylose.
Xylose and other five carbon sugars undergo dehydration under the same conditions to become furfural. For typical crop residue, about 10% of the mass of the original plant matter can be recovered as furfural….