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Chemicals Produced by Bio-Based Feedstock are Offering Tremendous Market Opportunities
The chemical industry is witnessing a trend wherein technology innovations are making renewable sources increasingly competitive with traditional sources on the basis of both price and performance. For instance, Denmark-based Novozymes has developed high-efficiency enzymes than can reduce the production cost of cellulosic ethanol from $1-$2 to ¢50.
Consumer concern over the increasing levels of GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions and depleting levels of fossil fuels has encouraged a large-scale acceptance of renewable chemicals and polymers. This development has occurred despite the fact that the use of renewable chemicals in consumer products such as bottles, plastics, medicines, laptops, cell phones, etc. raises the price of the end product.
Industry trends are showing a rise in the demand of bio-based products. Chemicals which can be produced by bio-based feedstock are offering tremendous market opportunities. Earlier, various chemicals were produced by petroleum feedstock but now they are being produced using renewable resources, such as corn derived glucose and biodiesel by-product glycerin/glycerol. Bio-derived chemicals not only offer good market opportunities but also facilitate a cost-effective method of production.
Ethanol forms the most commercialized segment, holding the largest share of the renewable chemicals market due to its high and steadily increasing use as a fuel. U.S. and Brazil are the largest producers of ethanol, and also account for an estimated 80% of the global ethanol consumption. Germany and France are the emerging European markets, while India and China offer the highest growth potential in the Asian market as they have large agricultural lands for the production of feedstock such as sugarcane and corn. The development of second-generation feedstock (lignocellulosic) for ethanol production is expected to further boost overall market growth.
While most of the renewable chemicals still have to measure up to the price and performance of their petroleum counterparts, the market is already witnessing increasing involvement of established brands from other industries. Companies like Cadbury (U.K.) and Tetra Pak (Switzerland), for instance, have begun using bio-polymers in the packaging for their products.
Renewable Chemicals Market – Alcohols (Ethanol, Methanol), Biopolymers (Starch, PLA, PHA, Polyethylene & Others), Platform Chemicals & Others - Global Trends & Forecasts to 2018
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