Global increase in use of renewable products coupled with depleting petrochemical resources is expected to remain a key factor for bio based functional polymers market growth over the next six years. Bio based functional polymers are derived from agricultural feedstock such as corn and potatoes which reduces the dependency on petrochemical products. Initially bio based functional polymers were derived from agricultural feedstock but a recent breakthrough in biotechnology allows polymer derivation from bacterial fermentation, nucleic acids, polysaccharides and proteins. Bio based functional polymers such as Polylactic acid (PLA), Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polybutylene succinate (PBS) polypropylene (PP), polyethylene (PE) are expected to show steady growth rates over the next six years.
PLA and PHA dominated the bio based functional polymers market in the past few years and are expected to continue the same trend for the forecast period. PLA is synthesised from lactic acid derived from bacterial fermentation obtained from renewable sources of corn or sugar. Corn, being a high quality feedstock for fermentation, is generally preferred source for deriving high-purity lactic acid. PLA is extensively used for applications such as food packaging, automobiles, chemical and textile industry. PHA is derived from bacterial fermentation of renewable waste feedstock such as cellulose, organic waste, vegetable oils, and fatty acids. .PHA is widely used in applications such as laminates, fibers, hygiene products, food & medical packaging, nonwoven fabrics and cosmetics. Following, PLA & PHA, PBS, PE, PET and PP formed rest of the market share. PBS derived from bacterial fermentation process finds commercial applications in fishery, agriculture, construction, and forestry. Bio PE is produced from bio-ethanol and is expected to show higher growth rates over the forecast period owing to good performance & being commercially available at low prices. Increasing government regulation owing to reduce green house gas (GNG) effects is expected to significantly augment bio based functional polymers market growth. Government regulators such as Lead Market Initiative (UK) and BioPreferred (U.S.) are imposing legislations in polymer market for using bi based products. Higher production costs coupled with less developed retail value chain is expected to hinder growth of market participants. Increasing investment in R&D for product developments in niche applications is expected to provide a key opportunity for market growth. Bio PLA and PHA blends used as medical implants are recent breakthrough for bio based functional polymers market.
Key players in bio based functional polymers include Nature Works, Futerro, Bio-on, Kaneka, BASF, DuPont de Nemours and Novamont. Other major players include Ulbe, IRE Chemical, Meridian, Metabolix, Mitsubishi Gas Chemicals, Toyobo, Purac, Yikeman Shandong and Livan. Major demand is expected from emerging markets of Asia Pacific and South America particularly in countries such as China, India and Brazil. Growth in these regions is expected owing to population expansion and growing middle-class disposable income. Other major demand is expected from developed markets of North America and Europe.
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