London -- The move from anon-renewable to renewable feedstocks in the chemical industry is accelerating, pushed both by high prices for non-renewable feedstock but also because of the growing ability of microorganisms to give higher productivity of the desired chemicals, according to new analysis from Frost & Sullivan (www.chemicals.frost.com).
This study, 'Strategic Analysis of the Worldwide Market for Biorenewable Chemicals,' finds that the market earned revenues of $1630 million in 2008. F&S estimates this to reach $5010 million in 2015.
In this research, the market research group's analysts examine in detail the applications for lactic acid, succinic acid, glycerol and 1,3 propanediol in bio-plastics, bio-composites and green chemicals.
"The stability and predictability of feedstock prices is motivating the chemical industry to shift its feedstock base," notes Frost & Sullivan Senior Research Analyst Phani Raj Kumar Chinthapalli. "Ready availability is another reason influencing the chemical industry to investigate bio renewable feedstock options," Chinthapalli added.
And F&S points out that crude oil prices "rose spectacularly from $30 per barrel in 2004 to $145 in mid 2008." Currently crude oil cost per barrel is $43. Fluctuating oil prices affect prices of the feedstocks for chemical production, F&S says, adding that such variation is not evident in the renewable feedstock industry covering wheat and sugar.
Like the mature petrochemical industry, the bio renewable chemicals market does not have perfect business-to-business integration. This is only because two completely distinct supply chains must merge in order to provide a positive result.
"The food industry and the chemical industry have two different supply chains," explains Chinthapalli. "The food industry can play its role half way, till the production of the chemical by fermentation or other processes from bio feedstock, while the other half is led by the chemical industry supporting the application market for the bio renewable chemicals."