Silvateam produces furfural in its manufacturing plant at La Escondida in Argentina. Furfural is a clear, yellowish liquid with a characteristic odour of almonds which is obtained as a byproduct from the production of quebracho extract. The wood residue, rich in pentosans, is subjected to acid hydrolysis under a specific pressure and temperature to obtain furfural that is then distilled to a purity of 98.5%.
Furfural is used in the petroleum industry as a solvent in the refining of lubricating oils. It is also used in the following applications:
- Precursor for furfuryl alcohol and tetrahydrofurfuryl alcohol.
- Solvent in the refining of lubrication oil.
- Solvent for anthracene and resins.
- Distillation of butadiene.
- Marker for heating oil.
- Herbicide production.
Furfural is shipped in the following forms: tanker trucks, metal drums of 250kg, tanks of 1,000kg, isotanks respectively of 21 - 25t and sea-river tankers (300 ~ 400t). The containers are made of steel and in an atmosphere of inert nitrogen gas (N2) which are oxygen-free to prevent oxidation during transport.