Learning on safety issues pertaining to furanics as new intermediates from natural furan based byproducts

Abstract : Production of new carbon-based building blocks from lignocellulosic biomass residues is progressively replacing share of petroleum based chemicals in transportation fuel and commodity polymers. Chemicals such as 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) and furfural can be produced by depolymerisation of C6-sugars (eg. glucose) and C5-sugars (eg. xylose), via acid catalysed dehydration (ACD). This can be further converted into various furanic derivatives (FD) such as 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) or furfuryl alcohol (FA), which are well-known precursors of bio-based polymers. Considering the diversity of existing and potential FD structures and their varying phys-chem properties (Fig a), we may anticipate several types of risks that may trigger during their synthesis and targeted applications and may have highly varying profiles. Except for a few well-known FD (furan, furfural, furfuryl alcohol, hydroxymethylfurfural etc), others have been paid much less attention so far, with no specific information on their hazardous profile in internationally derived haz-mat classification systems such as GHS (CLP in the EU) and the UN TDG Model Regulations for transport of dangerous goods. Haz-mat classifications are one of the preliminary requirements for all chemicals for their appropriate classification, labelling, packaging and safe transportation. However, these classifications do not necessarily provide information about the extent of risk involved when the chemical is used in any specific application. The risk involved may also depend on thermal stability of the compound, speed of combustion, chemical incompatibility issues, type of surrounding environment, conventional methods of storage and disposal, safety training to the employees, etc., These are some of the governing factors that are out of the scope of any haz-mat classification system and they can only be addressed by application based testing. Therefore, to address these existing discrepancies and to meet the new market requirements, the current study as part of the HUGS project focuses on examining the safety profile of existing and some newly synthesized FD, and their byproducts such as humins & levulinic acid. Specific focus is given on learning their thermal stability, flammability or combustion behavior during fire scenarios via various testing procedures. Thus, the study aims at defining specific trends of physico-chemical properties for the family of FD for the selection of best-suitable compound based on its functionality and applications.
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Anitha Muralidhara, Guy Marlair. Learning on safety issues pertaining to furanics as new intermediates from natural furan based byproducts. 13. International Conference on Renewable Resources and Biorefineries (RRB 13), Jun 2017, Wroclaw, Poland. ⟨ineris-01853480⟩

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