Traditionally, the chemical industry has been dependent on inexpensive, petroleum-based carbon feedstock for the production of a small collection of platform chemicals that lead to the manufacture of a large variety of chemical products. However, of late, implementation of government regulations on the use of toxic chemicals and rise in impetus on environmentally-friendly products are driving the need to explore alternative renewable sources of carbon. This has brought about a shift in the chemical industry to manufacture chemicals from renewable carbon sources rather than non-renewable carbon sources. Additionally, insufficiency of non-renewable resources draws attention of stakeholders toward bio-renewable chemicals.
The price of fuel related products is invariably dependent on the demand for fossil fuels; hence, increase in demand for bio-renewable chemicals is anticipated to lower the reliance on demand for fossil fuel. For instance, increase in demand for polylactic acid (PLA), bioethylene, and polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) is estimated to lower the demand for fossil fuels during the projected period. Low availability of raw materials required for the production of bio-renewable chemicals may hamper the market. The bio-renewable chemicals market is also facing challenges in terms of using cost-effective raw materials for the various generic applications. However, governments and private organizations are offering reimbursements to promote the production of raw materials.
In terms of product, the global bio-renewable chemicals market can be segmented into glycerin, lactic acid, succinic acid, and other chemical products. The glycerin segment accounted for the major share of the market in 2016 owing to its increasing demand in pharmaceutical and personal care industries. Demand for succinic acid is also increasing, as it is used as a main ingredient for pigment and coating in construction and pharmaceutical industries.
Based on end-user industry, the bio-renewable chemicals market can be divided into industrial and domestic cleaners, paints & coatings, printing inks, pharmaceutical, and personal care products. Bio-renewable chemicals are used in these industries for applications such as bio-plastics, bio-solvents, and bio-cleaners & detergents. Bio-plastics are largely used as packaging materials, as they emit less number of greenhouse gasses (GHGs). Therefore, demand for bio-plastics has been rising across the globe, particularly in the U.S. and Europe.
In terms of geography, the market can be segregated into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, and Latin America. North America is projected to be the fastest-growing and largest region in terms of production and consumption of bio-renewable chemicals, respectively, due to the increase in government initiatives and focus on consumption of renewable chemicals. Some of the programs that regulate the production and usage of chemicals in countries in North America are ‘federal bio preferred and toxic substitute program’ in the U.S. and ‘toxic chemical list and alternatives initiatives’ in Canada. Several countries in Europe and the Middle East are also focusing on environmental issues and implementation of related environmental regulations on chemical manufacturing.
Key players operating in the bio-renewable chemicals market include BASF SE, Solazyme, Myriant, Elevance Renewable Sciences, BioAmber, DuPont Industrial Biosciences (Genencor), Lanza Tech, Amyris, ZeaChem, and Gevo.