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Biorenewable chemicals are chemicals derived from bio-based feedstocks, which are renewable since they can be seasonally cultivated and exploited, as corn, sugar cane, wheat and cellulose. In most cases, prior to conversion to chemicals, the original biomass raw material will be converted into form, which can be more easily converted into chemicals as sugar, starch or plant oil.
The major feedstock for biorenewable industry is sugar, deriving mainly from sugar cane and other type of biomass, which could provide an alternative to the traditional petrochemical feedstocks that are currently driving the polymer industry.
The evolution of the chemical industry to convert bio-based feedstocks is already making inroads, due to irreversible global drivers of the chemical industry:
Growing concern about carbon footprint and sustainability Recent high volatility in energy and other commodities prices Some of the world’s largest packaging companies may accelerate this trend as they set new standards and initiatives for “Green” renewable materials The world’s bigger players in the chemical industry are seeking new feedstocks and products from renewable sources as a potential solution for dependence on petroleum, such as bio-based PE, PP, Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), as they have a favourable GHG balance compared to fossil fuels and petrochemicals.
Responding to these economics and market drivers, some of the world`s largest chemical producers are investing in projects to more profitably manufacture biochemicals instead of biofuels. The new environment has created an exciting tipping point in strategic partnering, investment, and construction that is driving rapid growth in renewable chemicals commercialization. Projected growth rates for biorenewable chemicals are significantly above conventionally sourced chemicals and thus the high industry interest.
The fossil chemical industry will maintain its dominance, though global market drivers provide solid platform for significant growth of biorenewable industry.
North America represents about 30 percent of the global consumption of flexible packaging. Annual growth in this region is forecast at 4 percent during the next 5 years.
For more insight on growth opportunities, drivers of growth and the outlook for 2015, download this report.
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