Furfural is a liquid chemical produced from biomass. Furfural is extensively utilized as a solvent during the manufacture of refractory materials, resin-bonded grinding wheels, and butadiene extraction due to its superior physical properties. This, in turn, is boosting the demand for furfural in solvents. Furfural acts as a platform for the production of biofuels and biochemicals. It is a source of natural precursor to a wide range of furan-based chemicals and solvents such as methylfuran, furfuryl alcohol, tetrahydrofurfuryl alcohol, tetrahydrofuran, methyltetrahydrofuran, dihydropyran, and furoic acid. Furfural is primarily used in the production of furfuryl alcohol.
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Furfural is also used as a solvent in lubricating oils and butadiene extraction, and as an intermediate in other applications. Demand for furfuryl alcohol is high in the metal casting industry. It is utilized to manufacture various automobile parts and industrial machineries. Furfuryl alcohol is primarily employed in resins, which are used as binders in the foundry industry. Furfuryl alcohol provides superior binding properties and mechanical strength, which is required in sand molds and cores in foundries. Rising demand for metal-casting products in the automotive industry and industrial equipment is driving the global furfuryl alcohol market.
Furfural is also used as a solvent in various industries including pharmaceuticals, lubrication oils, and in extraction processes. In terms of volume and revenue, the solvents segment accounted for a large share of the furfural market. Increasing concerns regarding the limited availability of fossil fuels has increased the demand for renewable resources. Furfural is derived from biomass, which is a renewable resource. Hence, demand for furfural is expected to rise significantly in the near future. Globally, furfural is manufactured through three commercial methods; however, neither of these methods are efficient as they yield less than 50%. These inefficient and low-yield production methods have led to high product cost. This inhibits the global furfural market. Innovative production methods with improved yields are likely to provide large opportunities in the furfural market in the near future.
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In terms of volume, Asia Pacific dominated the global furfural market, accounting for a share of more than 60% in 2017. The furfural market in Asia Pacific is driven by the rapid growth in application industries such as furfuryl alcohol, solvents, and pharmaceuticals. Developing economies such as India, China, and those in ASEAN are estimated to be major markets for furfural during the forecast period. Europe held a large share of the furfural market in 2017. However, demand for furfural in Europe is expected to be sluggish due to high cost and slow economic growth. Demand for furfural in North America, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa was moderate in 2017. The trend is likely to continue during the forecast period primarily due to high cost and limited commercial application.
The report analyzes and forecasts the furfural market at the global and regional levels. The market has been projected in terms of volume (tons) and value (US$ Thousand) for the period from 2018 to 2026. The study includes drivers and restraints of the global furfural market. It also encompasses the anticipated impact of these drivers and restraints on the demand for furfural during the forecast period. The report highlights opportunities in the market at global and regional levels.