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SBI reports forecasts biobased chemicals market to exceed one billion pounds by 2021

September 6, 2012

The rising demand for biofuels will spur the market for bio-based epichlorohydrin (ECH) and biomethanol, the fastest growing segments of the bio-based chemicals industry. According to The World Market for Bio-Based Chemicals, 2nd Edition, a research report from energy publisher SBI, production of bio-based chemicals is shifting away from western nations and towards growing economies.

Bio-based chemicals regained ground by 2011, after commodity prices went in flux following the economic crash in 2008, managing a 19.5 percent compound annual growth rate between 2007-2011. When glycerin prices dropped to historical lows in 2009, producing bio-based ECH and biomethanol for synthetic glycerin became more economical, spurring the market through 2011.

"ECH will actually be selling the most volume of all bio-based chemicals in 2021 apart from glycerin and lactic acid," said Shelley Carr, publisher of SBI. "Consumer attitudes and a global move towards oil independence will continue to drive this market after commodity prices stabilize."

Production and refinement of bio-based chemicals, including glycerin and lactic-acid, is shifting from western nations and moving towards growing economies, such as Thailand, Brazil and Argentina. According to the report, the European Union remains one of the largest producers and refiners of glycerin with over one billion pounds since 2010.

"Although the EU produces the largest share of glycerin, Argentina is the largest exporter of crude glycerin and Malaysia is the largest exporter of refined glycerin," said Carr.

The report, The World Market for Bio-Based Chemicals, 2nd Edition, provides insights and drivers into the current and future markets for bio-based chemicals worldwide, with a particular emphasis on U.S., European and Asian markets. Segments covered include glycerin, lactic acid, bio-based polymers used to form plastics and other industrial organic acids, amino acids and organic compounds made from bio-based feedstocks and used as precursors for the production of other chemicals. It also profiles the leading manufacturers, including DuPont, Proctor & Gamble, BioAmber, Braskem, Metabolix and more.

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