The global biodegradable superabsorbent materials market size was 42 kilo tons in 2015. Rising demand for disposable diapers, female hygiene, adult incontinence products, and agriculture application segments is expected to leverage the industry expansion. Polyitaconic acid, polysaccharide, polyacrylamide, and polyvinyl alcohol are major product segments, as they are characterized by excellent absorption rates and biocompatibility, and are easily decomposable.
Superabsorbent materials are one of the key products used for manufacturing baby diapers. These polymers are used for absorbing as well as retaining fluids, especially under moderately high pressure. Developing regions such as Asia Pacific and Latin America are projected to illustrate significant demand by 2024 for baby diapers as a result of high birth rate and growing disposable income. This positive scenario regarding the development of baby diapers sector is estimated to provide substantial leverage to the market growth in the future.
Adult incontinence products and female hygiene are other significant driving factors that are expected to offer favorable growth prospects for bio-based superabsorbent materials over the years ahead. Rise in the geriatric population coupled with the substantial risk of this aged populace towards conceiving urine incontinence disorders is a chief reason, which is anticipated to create significant demand for biodegradable high-performance absorption polymers.
Over the past few years, companies including Exotech Bio Solutions Ltd., TryEco LLC, Itaconix Corporation, Nuoer Chemical Australia Pty Ltd., and Archer Daniels Midland Company have launched new bio-based super absorbing materials in the global market, to meet the growing demand especially in Brazil, China, and India.
Germany Biodegradable Superabsorbent Materials Market Volume, By Application, 2013 - 2024 (Tons)
Disposable diapers application was the largest segment for biodegradable superabsorbent materials in 2015, accounting for 59.3% of the volume share. Disposable diapers sector is expected to illustrate the fastest growth by 2024 on account of increasing population in developing countries such as India, China, Brazil, Vietnam, Indonesia, and other ASEAN countries. This factor has led to a considerable rise in demand for various infant care products including diapers which have been a major growth driver in the recent past.
Enhanced design, better liquid absorption ability, and biocompatibility are some the key features that are offered by the biodegradable superabsorbent materials, on account of which various diaper manufacturing companies are strongly investing in developing economies to expand their regional and global presence.
Adult incontinence products and female hygiene are other major application segments of the market. Rising awareness regarding hygiene is anticipated to augment the demand for biodegradable superabsorbent materials over the forecast period. Adult incontinence products and female hygiene together are estimated to be worth over USD 60 million by 2024.
Polyvinyl alcohol was the largest segment, which accounted for 68.2% of the volume share in 2015. Constant effort is being undertaken by various companies to produce superabsorbent decomposable polymeric products, which is expected to broaden its application scope over the next eight years.
Polyvinyl alcohol has excellent water retention abilities, owing to which it is widely used for liquid absorption applications such as baby diapers and adult incontinence products. The personal care and infant care segments are expected to be exceptionally essential for these superabsorbent materials as there is a wide scope of application in this sector.
Polyitaconic acid and polyacrylamide are other major products segments which are projected to foresee CAGR at 8.2% and 9%, respectively, on account of its high absorption property.
Europe was the largest market accounting for 33.3% of the global volume in 2015. Stringent regulations regarding the use of synthetic polymers for manufacturing personal care and other medical hygiene products is anticipated to provide considerable scope for the industry in the future. This scenario is likely to reflect especially in Germany, UK, and France among other countries in the region.
Asia Pacific is projected to witness significant volume growth at the fastest CAGR of 10% from 2016 to 2024. The personal care and hygiene sector will be a crucial market for biodegradable superabsorbent materials. India and China have witnessed a tremendous increase in the infant populace over the past decade, which is expected to drive the demand for the product over the forecast period. Similar developments are projected to be witnessed in Latin America during the forecast period.
Key industry participants include BASF SE, Itaconix Corporation, Exotech Bio Solutions Ltd., Archer Daniels Midland Company, Amereq, Inc., JRM Chemical Inc., SNF Floerger, TryEco LLC, and Nuoer Chemical Australia Pty Ltd. Product innovation regarding the development of eco-friendly and hygienic polymers is expected to remain a crucial supporting factor for the industry players.
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