Renewable chemicals or bio-based chemicals comprises variety of chemicals which are obtain from renewable sources such as agricultural feedstock, agricultural waste, organic waste products, biomass, and microorganisms.
Renewable chemicals are considered as sustainable source of carbon as it offer fewer carbon footprints in comparison to conventional petro-based chemicals. Some of the most commonly found renewable chemicals include polymeric (lignin, hemicellulose, cellulose, starch, protein) and monomeric (carbohydrates, oils, plant extractives, amino acids) components. These chemicals are use widely as a direct substitution for conventional petro-chemicals.
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On the basis of chemical properties of renewable chemicals, it can be segmented into five different variant namely, alcohols (such as methanol and ethanol), polymers (such as polylactic acid or PLA, bio based polyethylene and polyhydroxyalkanoates or PHA), organic acid (such as formic acid, acetic acid, and glycolic acid), ketones (such as acetone and methyl ethyl ketone) and others (such as 1, 4-butanediol, 1, 3-propanediol, and Bio-BDO). Alcohol grasped the largest market share in 2013; whereas polymer segment has exhibited the highest growth rate over the past few years. Moreover, growing demand of green packaging materials from food and beverages and consumer goods packaging is expected to boost the polymer market in upcoming years.
On the basis of end user application the global renewable energy can be broadly characterize as industrial, transportation, food and beverages packaging, consumer goods packaging, bio-medicals, fertilizers, agriculture, textiles, environment, housing, recreation, and health and hygiene.
Global trend towards oil independency, increasing awareness towards reduction of carbon foot prints in order to cope with situation such as landfills and global warming, and increasing consumer preferences towards green and natural product is driving the market for renewable chemicals. Moreover limiting petroleum resources, political instability of major oil producing countries and continuous fluctuation in price of petroleum product has helped in overall popularity and acceptance of renewable chemicals around the globe.
Renewal chemicals include about one percent of the global chemicals market. The rising concern of policymakers over food security and deforestation has emerged as one of the major challenge for the diversification of the renewable global chemical market
Europe was the largest market for renewable chemical in 2013 closely followed by Asia Pacific and North America. Asia Pacific market for renewable chemicals is growing in double digit and is expected to take over Europe in terms of market share during the forecasted period. Easy and cheap availability of raw materials, cheap labor and increasing demand of renewable chemicals from growing countries such as China, Japan and India are some major factors propelling the market for renewable chemicals in Asia Pacific.
Major companies operating in global renewable chemicals market include, Archer-Daniels-Midland Company (ADM), Amyris Inc., BASF SE, Bioamber Inc., Biomethanol Chemie Nederland B.V., Braskem, Cargill Inc., DSM, E. I. DU Pont DE Nemours & Company, Evonik Industries AG, Genomatica Inc., Metabolix, Inc., Myriant Corporation, Natureworks LLC, Novozymes A/S, OPX Biotechnologies, Solazyme Inc., Solvay, The Dow Chemical Company and Verenium Corp.
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