Market Study Growth of Bio-based Polymers

Editor: Sigrid Kübert

Two years after the first market study was released, Germany’s nova-Institute is publishing a complete update. The institute carried out this study in collaboration with renowned international experts from the field of bio-based building blocks and polymers.

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(Picture: PROCESS)

The study investigates every kind of bio-based polymer and, for the first time, several major building blocks produced around the world, while also examining in detail 112 companies. The most dynamic development is foreseen for drop-in bio-based polymers, but this is closely followed by new bio-based polymers. Drop-in bio-based polymers are chemically identical to their petrochemical counterparts but at least partially derived from biomass.

This group is spearheaded by partly bio-based polyethylene terephthalate (PET) whose production capacity was around 600,000 tonnes in 2013 and is projected to reach about seven million tonnes by 2020, using bio-ethanol from sugar cane. Bio-based PET production is expanding at high rates worldwide, largely due to the Plant PET Technology Collaborative (PTC) initiative launched by The Coca-Cola Company. The second most dynamic development is foreseen for polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA), which, contrary to bio-based PET, are new polymers. agk