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The World Market for Bio-Based Chemicals, 2nd Edition

The bio-based chemicals market has continued steady and solid growth in the past two years, helped along by stabilization in glycerin prices to achieve a market of $3.6 billion in 2011. Glycerin and lactic acid accounted for just over two-thirds of the bio-based chemical market by value in 2011. However, by 2021 this market share will shrink to 53% as the emerging markets for bio-based polyethylene (PE) and epichlorohydrin (ECH) achieve 10-fold growth through the decade.

Strong biodiesel markets in South America, Europe and Asia have ensured plentiful global crude glycerin feedstocks in the last few years. While glycerin prices have stabilized since their incredible slump in 2009, their continued affordable price is driving the emergence of new bio-based intermediate chemicals using glycerin as the feedstock: propylene glycol (PG), ECH and methanol. However, the success of these new market segments greatly depends on the continued availability of affordable glycerin.

Lactic acid sales weathered the recession very well, continuing their strong, steady growth seen since 2006. Chemical and pharmaceutical applications, which includes polylactic acid (PLA) production, is maintaining its place as the fastest growing sector of lactic acid sales. In the biopolymer segment, PLA continues to lead the segment by a strong margin, while the polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) market, though still strong, is experiencing real fluidity due to the exit of ADM from its joint venture with Metabolix. Biopolymers have strong growth potential over the next decade, particularly if companies such as Braskem and Dow manage to increase capacity for bioethylene production and convince manufacturers of its drop-in capacity for polyethylene and other plastics.

Steady sales for lactic acid and biopolymers over the next decade will act as stable drivers for the bio-based chemicals market through to 2021. The overall growth of the market, however, greatly depends on the continued adoption of biodiesel to provide steady glycerin production and the market growth of new glycerin-based intermediate chemicals. SBI Energy expects the bio-based chemicals market to grow to $12.2 billion by 2021, accounting for 25.4 billion pounds of bio-based chemical production at the end of the decade.

The World Market for Bio-Based Chemicals, 2nd Edition by SBI Energy provides key insight into current and future markets for bio-based chemicals worldwide, with a particular emphasis on U.S., European and Asian markets. The analysis includes definitions, current product offerings and market detail on the following segments:

  • Glycerin, including both raw and refined products
  • Lactic acid, its salts and esters (i.e. lactide and other derivatives)
  • Bio-based polymers used to form plastics
  • Other industrial organic acids, amino acids and organic compounds made from bio-based feedstocks and used as precursors for the production of other chemicals.
The report also analyzes the key drivers behind the bio-based chemical market, and looks at industries that make use of bio-based chemicals for their end products, particularly bioplastics, surfactants, solvents and adhesives.

Report Methodology

This report contains primary and secondary data obtained from government sources, trade associations and publications, business journals, scientific papers, company literature, investment reports, and interviews with industry professionals. Statistics on U.S. production, imports and exports are from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. International Trade Commission; European production and trade data primarily comes from Eurostat; trade data for other nations comes from the respective customs office for each country and the United Nations Comtrade database.

What You’ll Get in This Report

The World Market for Bio-Based Chemicals, 2nd Edition provides a concise, focused look at the market for chemicals made from biomass feedstocks as it exists today, and shows where the market is moving between 2012 and 2021. The report highlights key players in the bio-based chemicals industry and pinpoints ways that current and prospective competitors can capitalize on recent trends and spearhead new ones. No other market research report provides both the comprehensive analysis and extensive data that The World Market for Bio-Based Chemicals, 2nd Edition offers. In addition, you’ll benefit from extensive data, presented in easy-to-read and practical charts, tables and graphs.

How You’ll Benefit from this Report

If your company is considering investing in biorenewable chemical technologies, or is involved in petroleum-based chemical production and considering expanding its portfolio to include bio-based alternatives, you will find this report invaluable as it provides a comprehensive package of information and insight not offered in any other single source. You will gain a thorough understanding of the current market for bio-based platform chemicals, as well as projected markets and trends for these chemicals through 2021. The report also provides a concise view of the top application industries for available bio-based chemicals, outlining key drivers and barriers for these markets.

This report will help:

  • Marketing managers identify market opportunities and develop targeted promotion plans for businesses looking to develop markets for both new and existing bio-based chemicals.
  • Research and development professionals stay on top of competitor initiatives and explore demand for bio-based chemicals as well as the downstream product market for platform and intermediate bio-based chemicals.
  • Advertising agencies working with clients in a host of market sectors such as neutraceuticals, retail and commercial cleaner products, transportation, textiles or construction products to develop messages and images that compel homeowners, businesses and industries to migrate towards bio-based chemicals as an alternative to petroleum-based products.
  • Business development executives understand the dynamics of the market and identify possible partnerships with feedstock providers, key organizations and bio-based chemical manufacturers with unique products or processes.
  • Information and research center librarians provide market researchers, brand and product managers and other colleagues with the vital information they need to do their jobs more effectively.


  • Executive Summary
    • Scope & Methodology
    • The Global Bio-Based Chemical Market
      • The World Glycerin Market
        • Table Global Glycerin Production, 2007-2011 (in million lbs)
      • The World Lactic Acid Market
        • Table Global Lactic Acid Production, 2007-2011 (in million lbs)
      • The World Biopolymer Market
      • Other Key Bio-Based Chemicals
        • Table Global Market of Other Bio-Based Chemicals, 2007-2011 (in million pounds)
      • Bio-Based Chemicals Market Forecast
    • Bio-Based Chemical Market Factors
      • Table Bio-Based Chemical Market Factors
      • Market Drivers
      • Market Barriers
    • Manufacturing Costs of Bio-Based chemicals
      • Bio-Based Chemical Prices
        • Table Bio-Based Chemical Prices, 2007-2011 (in $/lb)
    • Research Funding & Trends
    • Employment Trends
    • The Market for Bio-Based chemicals in End-Use Applications
      • Table Bio-Based Chemical Application Categories
      • Bio-Based Plastics
    • Bio-Based Chemical Manufacturers
      • Table Top Bio-Based Chemical Manufacturers, 2012
  • Introduction
    • Scope of this Report
    • Methodology
    • Description of Key Terms
    • Bio-Based Chemical Production
      • The Biorenewable Chemicals Product Chain
      • Biomass Feedstocks
        • Table Potential Bio-based Platform Chemicals
    • Key Bio-Based Chemicals
      • Glycerin
      • Lactic Acid
      • Polylactic Acid (PLA)
      • Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA)
      • Polyethylene
      • 1,3-Propandiol
      • Biobutanol
      • Epichlorohydrin (ECH)
      • Monoethylene Glycol (MEG)
      • Methanol
      • Propylene Glycol (PG)
      • Succinic Acid
  • The Bio-Based Chemicals Market
    • The Global Bio-Based Chemical Market
      • Regional Breakdown of Bio-Based Chemical Production
    • The World Glycerin Market
      • Glycerin Production & Trade
        • Table Global Glycerin Production, 2007-2011 (in million lbs)
        • Table Global Glycerin Exports, 2007-2011 (in million lbs)
    • The World Lactic Acid Market
      • Lactic Acid Production & Trade
        • Table Global Lactic Acid Production, 2007-2011 (in million lbs)
    • The World Biopolymer Market
      • Polylactic Acid (PLA)
      • Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA)
      • Bio-Polyethylene
      • Other Bio-Based Polymer Intermediates
    • Other Key Bio-Based Chemicals
      • Biobutanol
        • Table Global Biobutanol Market, 2007-2011 (in million pounds and million $)
      • Bio-Based Epichlorohydrin (ECH)
        • Table Global Bio-Based ECH Market, 2007-2011 (in million pounds and million $)
      • Biomethanol
        • Table Global Biomethanol Market, 2007-2011 (in million pounds and million $)
        • Table Global Bio-Based MEG Market, 2007-2011 (in million pounds and million $)
      • 1,3-Propanediol (PDO)
        • Table Global Bio-PDO Market, 2007-2011 (in million pounds and million $)
      • Propylene Glycol
        • Table Global Bio-PG Market, 2007-2011 (in million pounds and million $)
      • Succinic Acid
        • Table Global Bio-Succinic Acid Market, 2007-2011 (in million pounds and million $)
      • Other Bio-Based Chemicals in Development
        • Table Status of Other Potential Biorenewable Chemicals
    • Bio-Based Chemicals Market Forecast
      • Table Forecast of Other Bio-Based Chemicals, 2012-2021 (in million lbs)
      • Glycerin Forecast
      • Lactic Acid Forecast
      • Biopolymer Forecast
  • Trends & Applications
    • Bio-Based Chemical Market Factors
      • Table Bio-Based Chemical Market Factors
      • Market Drivers for Bio-Based Chemicals
        • Table Chemical Initiatives & Regulations Supporting Bio-Based Chemicals
      • Barriers to the Bio-Based Chemicals Market
      • Bio-Based Funding
      • Biodiesel Demand & Production
        • Table Countries with Minimum Biodiesel/Biofuel Use Requirements, 2012
      • Developing Drop-in Capability
        • Table Biopolymer Substitutions for Petroleum-Based Polymers
    • Manufacturing Costs of Bio-Based chemicals
      • Bio Feedstocks versus Petroleum Feedstock
      • Processing Costs for Bio-Based chemicals
      • Bio-Based Chemical Prices
        • Table Bio-Based Chemical Prices, 2007-2011 (in $/lb)
    • Research Funding & Trends
      • Government Funding of Bio-Based Chemical Research is Limited
        • Table Federal U.S. Funding for Biomass-Based R&D, FY2009-FY2013 (in million dollars)
        • Table 7th Framework Programme Funding for Biorenewable Chemical R&D, 2012 (in million euros)
      • Recent Research Highlights
    • Employment Trends in the Bio-Based Chemical Sector
      • Bio-Based Chemical Jobs will Triple this Decade
      • Bio-Based Chemical Employment Demographics
    • The Market for Bio-Based chemicals in End-Use Applications
      • Table Bio-Based Chemical Application Categories
      • Bio-Based Plastics
      • Key Product Segments for Bio-Based Plastics
        • Table Typical Applications for Bioplastics in Packaging
      • Surfactants
      • Solvents
        • Table Bio-Based Solvents, 2012
      • Adhesives & Sealants
        • Table Bio-Based Substitutions for Petroleum-Based Hot Melt Adhesive Components
  • Bio-Based Chemical Manufacturers
    • Partnerships, Collaborations & Breakups
      • Table Partnerships & Collaborations of Bio-Based Chemical Companies, 2012
    • Bio-Based Chemical Companies Struggle to go Public
      • Table Potential Bio-Based Chemical Company IPOs, 2012
    • Archer Daniels Midland
    • BioAmber
    • BioMCN
    • Braskem
    • DuPont
    • Genomatica
    • Gevo
    • Global BioChem
    • India Glycols
    • Metabolix
    • Myriant
      • Table Myriant's Funding Sources, 2009-2012
    • NatureWorks
    • Proctor & Gamble
    • Purac
    • Solvay
  • Acronyms Used in the Report
  • Company Contact Information

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