Business Activities: NUTRAFUR S.A., former FURFURAL ESPAÑOL S.A. was established in 1958 as a family company devoted to the production and commercialisation of furfural. Today it has 65 employees. By acid hydrolysis under the right pressure and temperature conditions, its main activity was to synthesize furfural from the hemicellulose fraction of almond shells. The first production plant was settled in Alcantarilla (Murcia, Spain), and a second industrial plant was launched in Caniles (Granada, Spain), amounting to a total of 4,000 TN/year of furfural. NUTRAFUR S.A. has been supplying with furfural to national, European and international clients ever since, especially for its use as a solvent in the extraction of lubricant oils of the oil refining industry. Ten years ago, while maintaining its compromise with the valorisation of vegetal raw materials, NUTRAFUR S.A. diversified its business activity to become also world leader in developing, manufacturing and marketing natural plant extracts used by customers in the food, nutraceutical, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. As its main activity, NUTRAFUR S.A. manufactures today 2,000 tons per year of 100% natural extracts using healthy raw materials and environmentally friendly processes in its 80.000-m2 industrial plant equipped with technologies for xtraction of products, as well as drying, milling, formulation, screening and packaging operations. NUTRAFUR complies with ISO 9001/2008 and ISO 14001/2004, which proves its compromise with quality and environmental demands.
Role in the project: Due to its 50-year experience in furfural production, NUTRAFUR’s role in the project will primarily be to participate and validate at industrial scale the novel technology developed for converting vegetal matter to furfural and HMF in technical WPs 1 to 5 by closely working with TR and CERTH
- RTD and DEMO activities: key actor in biomass selection in WP1 and optimization of pretreatment of biomass in WP2. In WP3 NUTRAFUR will collaborate with CERTH in the HMF synthesis and the valorization of the resulting bio-char for thermal energy production. In WP4, NUTRAFUR will apply their experience in product purification and the recovery of solvents (with TR), alongside the definition of an energy efficient design (with CERTH); Finally, NUTRAFUR will play a key role in WP5 as an industrial validator of the technology by supporting the lab-scale prototype design and the cost and scalability analysis.
- OTHER activities: NUTRAFUR will also contribute to the dissemination of results in WP6 based on its commercial experience and knowledge on furfural-related markets.
- Coordination activities: Other roles will be involvement derived from being crucial members of the Project Board.