Beyond Combustion: Additional Value for the Sunflower Husks

Some years ago when we first investigated the use of sunflower husks, we found oil mills that paid for them to be taken away ..

.. and they used coal to generate the process steam. Since then, husks are often used to fuel the steam boilers. However, there is always an excess of husks. Some oil mills pelletise and export them. DalinYebo has done extensive work with sunflower husks as part of IFT's furfural process developments. We have found that sunflower husks are indeed a suitable feedstock for furfural production. It was used in one of the USSR biorefineries (hydrolysers) as feedstock to make furfural.

Once the furfural is extracted, the remaining lignocellulosic residue can either be pelletised or further processed, as it has many value-added uses.

Furfural production adds value to sunflower husks, beyond combustion. Although its pentosan content is lower than that of corncobs, it has many advantages: Generally it is available at a central location 24/7 for 365 days per year (oil mills have large seed storage), it is dry and handles beautifully.

Background Information

Refer to our "Furfural from Sunflower Husks" article for additional information and/or to download the background information document, which includes:

An economic evaluation, with and without CHP (see "Furfural & CHP") integration

A market outline 


About Biomass & Furfural

For owners of biomass we offer technology and market access, creating investment opportunities in the cleantech space. Contact us to discuss the potential your biomass has for the production of furfural.

For the agri (Biomass) processing, sugar, pulp&paper, etc. industries, we provide knowhow and technology to convert (residual) biomass to chemicals and energy.

This article is part of a series on "biomass for furfural" production, which provides our clients with updates and analysis on the fundamentals and competitiveness of a variety of feedstock and their conversion to chemicals and energy (incl. biofuels).

  • Biomass
  • Biomass
  • Furfural
  • sunflower husks
  • GreenEnergyPark™
  • Green Electricity


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