Furfural: A Sustainable Platform Chemical and Fuel
Furfural is produced from lignocellulose-biomass enriched with pentose derivatives. It is a precursor of furan-based chemicals and has the potential to become a green platform chemical. This review presents and compares the different routes and recent trends furfural production and utilization. Conventional process of furfural production from lignocellulosic biomass, especially cellulose pulp, had low conversion rate and produced lots of unused by-products. Thus, the production in industrial scale was impeded with economical feasibility. While, the recent production technologies were focused on the utilization of the feedstock and improvement of the process economics by co-production of other high value products and furfural derivatives. Regarding to the current situation, the fuel production from non-renewable fossil sources becomes more interesting to worldwide society due to the environmental concern. Furfural and its derivatives are selected chemicals to be used as alternative feedstock to substitute the use of fossil fuels. Nowadays, the improvements on production technology and process are still necessary to compete with petroleum-based products in term of economic aspects.