BPRC projects focus on bio-products such as furfural, a bio-renewable chemical that has gained widespread attention as a potential chemical for the production of bio-chemicals. Furfural and its derivatives have been extensively used in plastics, pharmaceutical, and agrochemical industries. Global demand the chemical is currently 800,000 ton/year and is expected to grow by 300,000 tons/year due to increased demand for green and bio-based products. By 2020, that demand is expected to skyrocket to one million tons/year. The current global technology for furfural production is limited to a maximum yield of 10 per cent. At present, a company known as DMT Bioproducts is collaborating with the BPRC to optimize their pre-treatment method and process parameters to achieve 95 per cent separation of three key elements from miscanthus (hemicellulose, cellulose and lignin). The result will then allow the use of hemicellulose for the production of furfural to achieve a minimum 20 per cent yield of furfural from dry miscanthus.
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