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Biorenewable Chemicals World Market

Increasing environmental awareness on the part of product manufacturers and the desire to reduce dependency on oil are the leading drivers behind the $2.4 billion global market for biorenewable chemicals (BRC) in 2010. This steadily growing market has experienced a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.8%, a growth trend that is going to increase as the world resumes a more normal production page and new bio-based chemicals such as bioethylene come to market. By 2015 the BRC market will be worth $6.8 billion, a CAGR of 22.8% between 2010 and 2015. The largest region for BRC sales continues to be the U.S., which captured 21.6% of the BRC market in 2009.

The platform biorenewable chemicals (PBC) glycerin and lactic acid make up the bulk of biorenewable chemicals being sold in 2010, accounting for 79.2% of the market. There is a large range in market maturity for PBCs, ranging from mature markets such as lactic acid to nascent markets for chemicals such as succinic acid.

Compared to the platform chemicals market, the intermediate biorenewable chemicals (IBC) market is much more nascent, particularly in relation to its potential. In 2010, IBCs accounted for $574.9 million of the BRC market; however this will grow to $2.5 billion in 2015 and account for 37.0% of biorenewable chemical sales. The strongest growth will be for secondary chemicals such as polylactic acid (PLA), polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) and bioethylene that are used to manufacture bio-based plastics.

Biorenewable Chemicals World Market by SBI Energy provides key insight into current and future markets for biorenewable chemicals worldwide, with a particular emphasis on the U.S. market. The analysis includes definitions, current product offerings and market detail on the following segments:

  • Industrial organic acids, amino acids and other organic compounds, made from biorenewable feedstocks such as corn, oilseeds and sugarcane, which can be used as the building blocks for alternatives to petroleum-based chemicals. These chemicals are referred to as platform biorenewable chemicals (PBC).
  • Industrial organic acids and polymers that are manufactured from platform biorenewable chemicals and are themselves key chemical components for the manufacture of many other chemicals and products. These chemicals are referred to as intermediate biorenewable chemicals (IBC).
The report also analyzes the key industries that make use of biorenewable chemicals for their end products. These include bioplastics, cleaners, 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. International Trade Commission; European production and trade data 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

Biorenewable Chemicals World Market provides a concise, focused look on the market for chemicals made from biomass feedstocks as it exists today, and shows where the market is moving between 2010 and 2015. The report highlights key players in the biorenewable 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 Biorenewable Chemicals World Market offers. Plus, 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 technology, 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 biorenewable platform and intermediate chemicals, as well as projected markets and trends for these chemicals through 2015. 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 biorenewable 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 secondary biorenewable chemicals.
  • Advertising agencies working with clients in a host of market sectors such as packaging, 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 biorenewable 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.


Market Insights: A Selection From The Report


Succinic Acid & Other Platform Chemicals

The world market for succinic acid was approximately 66 million pounds in 2009, of which less than 5% was produced from bio-based feedstock. Biorenewable succinic acid is just
entering the marketplace, but by 2015, will account for two thirds of the estimated 200 million pounds per year global succinic acid market. Approximately 30% of succinic acid is
used for pigments and coatings, following by use in the plating industry and pharmaceuticals as the next largest markets. SBI Energy also expects to see environmentally friendly de-icers
becoming an important part of the biosuccinic market.

There are a number of other bio-based platform chemicals being actively researched that are near the pilot plant stage of development. SBI Energy expects to see 3-hydroxypropanoic acid (3-HPA) and acetic acid achieving production volumes greater than 45 million pounds/year by 2015, primarily due to strong R&D programs from Cargill and WACKER respectively. Various companies (primarily in the U.S. and Europe) have moved past the laboratory to the pilot plant stage for isosorbide, isoprene, levulinic acid, and adipic acid. For these platform organic chemicals, production will continue to be a very limited affair, with volumes well below 20 million pounds/year for the foreseeable future.

Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) World Market

Revenue of PHA worldwide reached an SBI Energy estimated $107.8 million in 2009, up 21.0% from $89.1 million in 2008, and is expected to reach $150.3 million for 2010. A steady increase in global production has balanced a decreasing trend in pricing for PHA, giving the PHA market a strong CAGR of 28.3% between 2006 and 2010. The largest barrier for PHA to gain market share is high manufacturing costs which are still much higher than other polymers.

Manufacturing Trends

Three of the most widely used biomass feedstocks currently in use, corn, soybean oil and palm oil, have all stabilized in price since the turbulent prices experienced in 2008 and the first part of 2009. Average world soybean oil prices peaked at $1,283/ton in June 2008, with peaks occurring for palm oil and maize in March of the same year. The recession then caused prices for all three food crops to drop precipitously, erasing a year’s worth of price gains in the last quarter of 2008. Since that time, prices have stabilized to summer of 2007 levels, with palm oil and soybean oil both selling at approximately $725/ton and maize at $147/ton.

Production costs for biorenewable chemicals have held remarkably steady according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics production price index (PPI) for biorenewable chemical manufacturing, up only 3.4% in July 2010 as compared to December 2008. The results are similar to production price indexes for wet corn milling and soybean and other oilseed processing, which would be a significant part of any bio-based chemical manufacturer’s production costs.

In the News
Seismic Activity in Chemicals Market to Propel Global Biorenewable Industry to $7 billion in 2015

New York, November 11, 2010 — Steady growth in the two largest biorenewable chemical market segments, in addition to key regulatory and research developments, will spur the industry to a high of $7 billion in 2015, more than twice the anticipated 2011 market value of almost $3 billion, according to SBI Energy’s latest study Biorenewable Chemicals World Market.

"The ever increasing price of oil is not the only driver pushing sales in the biorenewable chemicals market. In the near term, more support within regulations and legislations for funding and research and development is key to keeping the biorenewable chemicals market a lively and growing concern," says Norman Deschamps , SBI Energy analyst.

Pacing the industry will be the platform biorenewable chemicals segment, which will continue to be worth approximately two-thirds of the overall biorenewable market by climbing to more than $4 billion in sales in 2015 and achieving a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22% for the five year period. Slower to pick up in 2011, sales will continue to grow steadily from 2012 through 2015 for all major selling chemicals within the category. 6Glycerin and lactic acid will continue to be the main chemicals within the segment.

Meanwhile, the intermediate biorenewable chemicals segment will see slightly stronger growth than the platform biorenewable chemicals segment, approaching $3 billion in 2015 and showing a CAGR of 33% between 2011 and 2015. Bioethylene will be the largest intermediate biorenewable chemicals category by sales volume in 2015, although polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) will be the largest market by revenue due to its much higher production cost. SBI Energy estimates annual production of polylactide (PLA) will more than double between 2011 and 2015, while production of 1,3-propanediol (PDO) will triple, and PHA production will quadruple.

The world biorenewable chemicals market was rocky between 2007 and 2009. After an absolutely amazing year in 2008 in which biorenewable chemicals grew an astonishing 72% to almost $3 billion, market value dropped by 26% to $2 billion.

Global platform biorenewable chemicals were worth $1.7 billion in 2009, down 27% from $2.3 billion in 2008. This drop was entirely due to the bottom falling out of glycerin prices, heavily slashing overall revenue for the chemical despite a slight increase in production. However, 2010 proved to be a boon for the platform biorenewable chemicals segment, with total sales expected to reach an estimated $1.8 billion by year’s end, up 11%. Despite the slump in 2009, the segment is managing a respectable CAGR of 12% between 2006 and 2010, primarily due to strong growth in the biorenewable lactic acid market. SBI Energy calculates that glycerin and lactic acid together will make up 96% of the platform biorenewable chemicals market in 2010.

From $232 million in 2006, the intermediate biorenewable chemicals market grew to $486 million in 2008, a growth of 110% caused by unprecedented biobutanol sales. SBI Energy forecasts the intermediate biorenewable chemicals market to reach an estimated $575 million in 2010 as all major categories within the segment apart from biobutanol are expected to show growth. Polylactic acid and PHA are the key biorenewable chemicals in the segment, capturing 72% of the market in 2009.

The U.S. and European Union were the top two biorenewable chemicals markets in 2009, capturing 22% and 19% of product sales respectively. Both regions were strong markets for almost all types of biorenewable chemicals, but it is the larger sales of polymers such as PLA and PHA in the U.S. keeping the country as the top biorenewable chemicals market. China continues to be a strong market for glycerin and lactic acid, but has yet to become a strong contender for other biorenewable chemicals segments such as bio-based polymers.

Biorenewable Chemicals World Market provides key insight into current and future markets for biorenewable chemicals worldwide, with a particular emphasis on the U.S. market. The report analyzes the key industries that make use of biorenewable chemicals for their end products. These include bioplastics, cleaners, solvents and adhesives. The report analysis also includes definitions, current product offerings and market details on platform biorenewable chemicals (PBC) and intermediate biorenewable chemicals (IBC).

About SBI Energy
SBI Energy, a division of MarketResearch.com, publishes research reports in the industrial, energy, building/construction, and automotive/transportation markets. SBI Energy also offers a full range of custom research services.

Additional Materials


The impact of Braskem’s new bioethylene production

by SBI Analyst, Norman Deschamps
November 8th, 2010

The thermoplastic resin and petrochemical producer Braskem is poised to radically alter the intermediate biorenewable chemical market, with production starting at its new bio-based ethylene plant in Triunfo, Brazil.  After just three years from project announcement, the new facility started production in September 2010. At maximum capacity, the Braskem plant will produce enough bioethylene to manufacture 440 million pounds/year of bio-based polyethylene, one of the most common plastics in the world. 

This amount of production is huge in the bioplastic world but is really only a minor fraction of the total polyethylene (PE) market; in 2009 the U.S. alone produced 36.7 billion pounds of high density and low density polyethylene plastics.  But this is good news for Braskem.  Even if the company was able to ramp up to full production capacity instantaneously, the PE market is large enough to easily absorb the production if Braskem’s product is competitive. 

And Braskem’s product is competitive.  First, the bio-PE that Braskem is producing is priced comparably with petroleum-based PE.  Secondly, the bio-based plastic is mechanically equivalent to what product manufacturers are using now.  This means no retooling on the product manufacturer’s part is required to switch to the biorenewable PE version Braskem is now offering.

In fact, even before the plant had started production Braskem had already signed Toyota and Proctor & Gamble on as customers for its bio-based resins.  And now that production is actually underway, Braskem has received invitations from four other companies in four different countries to implement similar projects around the world.  Braskem itself is also planning to announce a new “green” PE project by the end of the year.

All of these factors point to Braskem quickly gaining a foothold in the bioplastic space and giving the company incentive to expand its biorenewable chemical production.  Production of bioethylene could swamp production of other intermediate biorenewable chemicals such as polylactic acid (PLA) and polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) also used to make bio-based plastics.   What First Solar has done for the solar cell industry by providing cheap and plentiful photovoltaic cells and dominating the market, Braskem may now be doing for biobased plastics. 

  • Executive Summary
    • Key Biorenewable Chemicals
    • The World Biorenewable Chemicals Market
      • Regional Breakdown of BRC Production and Market
    • Platform Biorenewable Chemicals Market
      • Glycerin World Market
        • Table World Glycerin Market, 2006-2010 (in million $)
      • Lactic Acid World Market
      • Succinic Acid & Other Platform Chemicals
    • Intermediate Biorenewable Chemicals Market
      • Polylactic Acid World Market
      • Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) World Market
      • 1,3-Propanediol World Market
      • Biobutanol World Market
      • Using Bioethylene for Bio-Based Polymers
      • Other Intermediate Biorenewable Chemicals
    • Biorenewable Chemical Market Forecast
      • Platform Biorenewable Chemicals Forecast
        • Table Platform Biorenewable Chemical Production Forecast, 2011-2015 (in million pounds)
      • Intermediate Biorenewable Chemicals Forecast
        • Table Intermediate Biorenewable Chemical Production Forecast, 2011-2015 (in million pounds)
    • Biorenewable Chemical Companies
    • Manufacturing Trends
    • Financial Trends
    • Market Forces
      • Table Biorenewable Chemical Market Drivers & Barriers
    • Biorenewable Chemical Applications
      • Bioplastic Applications
      • Bio-Based Cleaners and Detergents
      • Bio-Based Solvents
    • Research & Development Trends for Biorenewable Chemicals
      • Table Federal U.S. Funding for Biorenewable Chemical R&D, 2010 (in million dollars)
    • Regulations & Standards
  • Defining Biorenewable Chemicals
    • Scope of this Report
    • Methodology
    • Description of Key Terms
    • Bio-Based Chemicals versus Petroleum-Based Chemicals
    • Platform Biorenewable Chemicals
      • Table Potential Biorenewable Platform Chemicals
      • Lactic Acid
      • Glycerin
      • Succinic Acid
    • Intermediate Biorenewable Chemicals
      • Polylactic Acid
      • Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA)
      • 1,3-Propandiol
    • The Biorenewable Chemicals Product Chain
      • End-Use Applications for Biorenewable Chemicals
      • The Bio Refinery: Mimicking Petroleum-Based Production
    • Industrial Biotechnology & Bio-Based Chemicals
    • Biomass Feedstocks
      • Biomass Generations
        • Table Potential Biorenewable Platform Chemicals
      • Sugar Feedstocks
      • Starch Feedstocks
      • Oils
      • Lignocellulosic Biomass
      • Food versus Fuel
  • The Market
    • The World Biorenewable Chemicals Market
      • Key Biorenewable Chemicals
      • Pricing Trends for Biorenewable Chemicals
        • Table Lactic Acid & Glycerin Pricing, 2006-2010 (in $/lb)
      • U.S. and Europe are production leaders
      • U.S. and Europe Remain as Top Markets
      • Chemicals versus Fuels for Biorenewable Manufacturing Companies
    • Platform Biorenewable Chemicals Market
      • Glycerin World Market
      • Lactic Acid World Market
        • Table Exports of Lactic Acid by Country, 2006-2010 (in million pounds)
      • Succinic Acid World Market
        • Table Current & Future Biorenewable Succinic Acid Production Facilities, 2010 (nameplate capacity in million pounds/year)
      • Other Platform Chemicals
        • Table Potential Biorenewable Platform Chemicals
      • Other Promising Platform Chemicals
      • Looking Ahead to 2015
    • Intermediate Biorenewable Chemicals
      • Polylactic Acid World Market
        • Table Current & Future PLA Production Facilities, 2010 (nameplate capacity in million pounds/year)
      • Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) World Market
        • Table Current & Future PHA Production Facilities, 2010 (nameplate capacity in million pounds/year)
      • 1,3-Propanediol World Market
      • Biobutanol World Market
        • Table Biobutanol Production in China, 2006-2010 (in million pounds and million $)
      • Using Bioethylene for Bio-Based Polymers
      • Other Intermediate Biorenewable Chemicals
        • Table Potential Biorenewable Platform Chemicals
      • Butanediol
      • Isobutanol
      • Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK)
    • Market Forces & Forecast
      • Market Drivers for Biorenewable Chemistry
      • Moving Away from Petroleum Dependency
      • Increased Consumer Environmental Responsibility
      • Increased Environmental Responsibility of Manufacturers
      • Support from Policy and Regulations
      • Market Barriers for Biorenewable Chemistry
      • The Traditional Petroleum-Based View of the Chemical Industry
      • Lack of Funding
      • Production Process Issues
      • High Production Costs
      • Land Use Concerns
      • Biorenewable Chemical Market Forecast
      • Platform Biorenewable Chemicals Forecast
        • Table Platform Biorenewable Chemical Production Forecast, 2011-2015 (in million pounds)
      • Intermediate Biorenewable Chemicals Forecast
        • Table Intermediate Biorenewable Chemical Production Forecast, 2011-2015 (in million pounds)
  • Biorenewable Chemical Applications
    • Consumers Want Bio-Based Products
    • Applications for Bio-Based Plastics & Polymers
      • The Market for Bio-Based Plastics
      • Types of Bioplastics
        • Table Comparison of Bioplastic Characteristics
      • Bio-Based Plastics for Packaging
      • Bioplastic Fibers
    • BIOFRONT Ready to Take the Heat
      • Table Bayer Ecotrekker Biorenewable Plastics Use
    • Cleaners & Detergents Using Bio-Based Chemicals
      • Table Product Categories for the Soaps, Detergents & Maintenance Products Market, 2010
      • The Cleaners and Detergents Market
      • Bio-Based Soaps and Detergents
    • Solvents
      • Solvent Applications Market
      • Bio-Based Solvents
        • Table Bio-Based Solvents, 2010
    • Adhesives & Sealants
      • Market
      • Bio-Based Adhesives
    • Neutraceuticals
  • Biorenewable Chemical Trends
    • Patents Trends for Biorenewable Chemistry
      • Table U.S. & European Biorenewable Product Patents, 2009-2010
      • Recent Biorenewable Chemistry Patents
      • European Patent System Lags the U.S. for Effectiveness
      • Biorenewable Chemistry Benefits from Biotechnology Patent Advocacy
    • Financial Trends for Biorenewable Chemical Companies
      • Biorenewable Chemical Firms are Undervalued
      • Initial Public Offerings are Scarce
        • Table Biorenewable Company Initial Public Offerings, 2010
      • Venture Capital Spending Up in 2010
        • Table VC Funding of Biorenewable Chemical Companies, 2009-2010
      • Partnering is a Key Strategy for BRC Companies
    • Research Funding & Trends
      • The Engineering Research Center for Biorenewable Chemicals
      • DOE & USDA Funding
        • Table Federal U.S. Funding for Biorenewable Chemical R&D, 2010 (in million dollars)
      • Funding in Europe
        • Table 7th Framework Programme Funding for Biorenewable Chemical R&D, 2010 (in million euro)
      • Biochem versus Biofuel for Funding
      • Using Cellulose & Lignin Based Feedstocks
        • Table Planned U.S. Biorenewable Chemical Refineries as of 2010
      • Plants as chemical factories
    • Manufacturing Trends
      • Bio Feedstocks versus Petroleum Feedstock
      • Manufacturing Costs for Biorenewable Chemicals
    • Biorenewable Chemicals Regulations & Standards
      • Regulations in the U.S.: USDA BioPreferred Program
      • Regulations in the U.S.: Other Biorenewable Chemical Initiatives
      • Regulations in the U.S.: Updating the TSCA
      • Regulations in the European Union: Bio-based Products Lead Market Initiative
      • Regulations in the EU: REACH
      • The ACS Develops a Market-Wide Green Chemistry Standard
  • Biorenewable Chemical Companies
    • Partnerships
      • Table Current Biorenewable Chemical Company Partnerships
    • Archer Daniels Midland
      • Table Archer Daniels Midland
      • Overview
      • Performance
        • Table ADM Biorenewable Chemicals, 2010
      • Production
      • New Developments
    • DNP Green Technology
      • Table DNP Green Technology
      • Overview
      • Performance
      • Production
      • New Developments
    • DuPont
      • Table DuPont
      • Overview
      • Performance
        • Table DuPont Biorenewable Chemical Products, 2010
      • Production
      • New Developments
    • Genomatica
      • Table Genomatica
      • Overview
      • Performance
      • Production
      • New Developments
    • Gevo
      • Table Gevo
      • Overview
      • Performance
      • Production
      • New Developments
    • Metabolix
      • Table Metabolix
      • Overview
      • Performance
      • Production
      • New Developments
    • NatureWorks
      • Table NatureWorks
      • Overview
      • Performance
      • Production
      • New Developments
    • Procter & Gamble
      • Table Procter & Gamble
      • Overview
      • Performance
      • Production
      • New Developments
    • Purac
      • Table Purac
      • Overview
      • Performance
      • Production
      • New Developments
  • Acronyms Used in the Report
  • Company Contact Information

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