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furan fu·ran (fyur'ān', fyu-rān')
Any of a group of colorless, volatile, heterocyclic organic compounds containing a ring of four carbon atoms and one oxygen atom, used in the synthesis of organics.
any of a class of organic compounds of the heterocyclic aromatic series characterized by a ring structure composed of one oxygen atom and four carbon atoms. The simplest member of the furan family is furan itself, a colourless, volatile, and somewhat toxic liquid that boils at 31.36 C (88.45 F). It is usually converted by hydrogenation to tetrahydrofuran, which is used as a solvent and for production of adipic acid and hexamethylenediamine, the raw materials for nylon-6,6. Several other members of the furan family are produced on a large scale for use as solvents and chemical raw materials. The first furan compound discovered was pyromucic acid (2-furoic acid), prepared in 1780. The aldehyde furfural, used as a solvent in petroleum refining, is manufactured from corn cobs and oat hulls by treatment with acid.