The global bio-based polymers market was estimated to be worth $14.2 billion in 2018 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 10% over the forecast period. The report "Bio-based Polymers Market Share, Size, Trends, & Industry Analysis Report, [By Product (PET, PA, PEF, PE, PUR, PBS, PHA, PTT, PBS, Epoxies, PEF, Others), By End-Use (Textile, Automotive, Films & Coatings, Electronics, Industrial), By Regions]: Segment Forecast, 2018 – 2026" provides insights on the current market scenario and the future prospects.
Bio-based polymers are obtained through the polymerization of bio-based raw materials through engineered industrial processes. The raw materials of bio-based polymers are either isolated from plants and animals or synthesized from biomass using enzymes or microorganisms.
The raw materials used for manufacturing bio-based polymers include corn fiber, wheat by-products, food processing waste, paper mill sludge, stems, leaves, livestock waste, and others.
Initially, bio-based functional polymers were derived from agricultural feedstock, but a recent breakthrough in technology has shifted focus to derive from nucleic acids, proteins, polysaccharides, and bacterial fermentation by synthesizing monomers like fatty acids, cellulose, and starch.
Increasing dependence on synthetic polymers has led to a rise in environmental risks associated with disposal and recycling. The combustion of these synthetic polymers releases harmful greenhouse gasses (GHGs) and other toxic gasses into the atmosphere, thereby degrading the environment and leading to ozone depletion & global warming. Stringent environmental regulations on fossil fuel products by regulatory authorities such as the EPA and REACH coupled with government initiatives to reduce dependency on petrochemicals have been responsible for the development of bio-based alternatives.
This is further supported by the increasing awareness towards sustainability and growing demand for bio-based polymers from various end-use industries such as automotive, electrical & electronics, construction, and footwear. The bio-based construction polymer market is in its nascent phase and is estimated to witness significant growth over the next six years on account of the increasing demand from end-use industries.
The commercially available bio-based polymer comprises 100% biomass content. Currently, a bio-based polymer is derived from corn fiber, wheat by-products, food processing waste, paper mill sludge, stems, leaves, livestock waste. However, companies have been making significant investments in developing 100% bio-based polymers, which do not require fossil fuel or petrochemical by-products.
The bio-based polymers are manufactured through the polymerization of bio-based raw materials through engineered industrial processes. Bio-based polymers are usually manufactured from vegetable oils derived from castor, soybean, rapeseed, or sunflower corn fiber, wheat by-products, food processing waste, paper mill sludge, stems, leaves, livestock waste, and others.