Furfural has many interesting characteristics. E.g. it has a ±20% higher BTU content than Ethanol and is also more expensive. There are many more aspects on the topic of "furfural and biofuels" and its rôle in a biorefinery.
2 Furfural is a platform chemical for the synthesis of a variety of chemicals. Therefore, furfural can also be used as a pre-cursor for, e.g.:
Furfural in synthesis of (C10 to C14) long-chain alkanes.
3 Examples of furfural production from the C5-fraction of the biomass, as an integrated process step in a biorefinery:
A bolt-on furfural extraction has upto 10x better margin than the production of ethanol form the same biomass.
4 Due to it high molecular oxygen content (and high BTU content), furfural makes an excellent fuel additive. E.g.:
In the 1970's, furfural derivatives were successfully tested (road tests of several thousand km) as oxygenates in ethanol mixtures.
In Scandinavia, a furfural derivative was the key component in blending 20% of bio-alcohols into diesel (no emulsion!), which was successfully tested in fleet of buses over a two year period for the accreditation as a biofuel.
DTHFE a furfural downstream product, has been identified as a suitable additive for blends in diesel and kerosene.
5 In the late 1940s, furfural was already used as a Rocket Fuel!