USA and Europe hold over 60% share in global renewable chemicals market

Renewable chemicals market comprises of all chemicals, which are derived from renewable feedstocks including microorganisms, agricultural waste products/biomass, forestry waste and agricultural raw materials. Advances in biotechnology are making renewable polymers and bio-based chemicals to compete on par with petroleum-based polymers in terms of performance, cost, and other additional benefits such as reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, as per a report by Global Industry Analysts Inc. Further drivers for renewable chemical market include the desire to reduce dependency on fossil fuels, through renewable sourcing, sustainability and decreasing landfill space. Narrowing cost differential between petroleum-based polymers and renewable polymers in recent years has further augmented interest in renewable resources. Also, both public sector (national laboratories, universities) and commercial sector (including national and international enterprises) will continue to step up investment in renewable chemicals for environmental remediation, air pollution control, consumer goods, plastics, surfactants and lubricants, resins, and various other applications. As stated by the new market research report on renewable chemicals, the United States, and Europe together accounts for more than 60% of the global renewable chemicals market. Developing economies including China, India, Russia and Japan, which largely consume chemicals developed from petrochemical feedstock, are expected to offer immense opportunities for renewable chemicals. Demand for renewable chemicals will continue to grow, driven by rapidly increasing population, economic expansion in developing countries, and rising energy requirements. Government initiatives and support is also expected to spur demand for renewable chemicals in these markets. A key trend in the market is the use of Industrial biotechnology. Industrial biotechnology refers to the use of biotechnology for producing chemicals, fuels and materials. Several chemical and liquid biofuels industries across the globe are increasingly using industrial biotechnology because of its environmental, technical and economic advantages such as reduction in greenhouse gas emissions; decline in waste generation; reduction in the use of fossil-based energy and inputs; process simplification; as well as reduction in capital expenditures and production costs. Recent turmoil in the global credit markets, and substantial reductions in asset value across business enterprises resulted in reduced requirements and difficulties in obtaining finance for renewable chemical projects. The ongoing economic slowdown has therefore temporarily decelerated but not ceased, the drive to utilize renewable resources. While the continued difficult economic scenario is a factor to consider, the industry trends bear out an optimistic assessment, as fundamental market drivers for alternative technologies remain strong. During post-recession period, growth of industrial biotechnology and increase in demand from food processing, consumer products, pharmaceutical, compostable and biodegradable plastics industry will stimulate the market for renewable chemicals. In terms of end-use, transportation is the largest market for renewable chemicals accounting for nearly 25% of the global market. Lack of consumer awareness, skepticism about performance and switching costs serve as effective industry barriers. Private sector firms are especially hesitant to embrace new practices without compelling proof of its probable success. This thereby restricts the investment required to research and develop renewable polymer products. Key players in this marketplace include Archer Daniels Midland Company, Arkenol Inc, BASF Group, Bioamber, Cargill Incorporated, Chevron Corporation, Codexis Inc, Dow Chemical Company, E. I. Dupont De Nemours & Company, Genencor International Inc, Metabolix, Novozymes A/S, PureVision Technology Inc, and Verenium Corporation, among others.
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