Global biopolymers market expected to grow at rate of 40%/y, reaching 20 million tonnes by 2020; Asia seen as best market for bio-based chemical producers because of region's growing market, availability of feedstock
Noida, India , March 11, 2014 (Chemical Business) – The applications and acceptance of bio-based chemicals as alternatives of petroleum-based products have significantly improved. The trend represents growth opportunities for chemical companies in the lubricant, surfactant and polymer industries. Bio-based chemicals will enable to continue to serve their core businesses while at the same time reducing their carbon footprint. The lubricants market is estimated at 38 M tonnes, 3% (1.2 M tonnes) of which is accounted for by biolubricants. By 2020, the market is projected to reach about 45 M tonnes and biolubricants will account for around 9% (4 M tonnes) of the market. An electrical insulation fluid based on soybean oil has been developed by Cargill. In 2012, the global biopolymers market was at around 1.3 M tonnes. This is expected to grow at a rate of 40%/y reaching 20 M tonnes by 2020, representing 7% of the global polymer market. For new age surfactants, methyl ether sulfonate (MES) is expected to replace one third of the demand for linear alkyl benzene sulfonate (LABS) by 2020 to reach 1.2 M tonnes. For feedstocks, up to $1.6 bn will be invested by Golden Veroleum in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Asia is the best market for bio-based chemical producers because of the region's growing market and the availability of feedstock.