The global increase in the 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 polymer market in the past few years and are expected to continue the same trend for the forecast period. PLA is synthesized 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 the preferred source for deriving high-purity lactic acid. PLA is extensively used for applications such as food packaging, automobiles, chemical, and textile industries. 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 the rest of the market share. PBS derived from the 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 reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) effects is expected to significantly augment bio-based functional polymers market growth.
Government regulators such as Lead Market Initiative (U.K.) and BioPreferred (U.S.) are imposing legislation in the polymer market for using bio-based products. Higher production costs coupled with a less developed retail value chain are expected to hinder the 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 breakthroughs in the bio-based functional polymer 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 from countries, such as China, India, and Brazil. Growth in these regions is attributed to population expansion and growing disposable income levels. Developed markets like North America and Europe are also expected to generate significant demand.
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The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent halt in manufacturing activities shall have an impact on the supply availability of a variety of renewable chemicals. Furthermore, current disruption in trade shall also gravely impact the availability of chemical stocks in import-dependent countries. The report will account for Covid19 as a key market contributor.