GVR Report cover Bio Plasticizers Market Report

Bio Plasticizers Market Analysis By Product Type (Citrates, Castor Oil, ESBO, Succinic Acid), By Application (Packaging, Consumer Goods, Automotive, Construction, Textiles), And Segment Forecasts, 2020 - 2025

  • Report ID: GVR-1-68038-641-7
  • Number of Pages: 119
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)
  • Historical Range: 2014 - 2018
  • Industry: Research

Industry Insights

The global bio plasticizers market size was estimated at 887.3 kilo tons in 2016. Bio-plasticizers are additives with moderate side effects than synthetic chemicals, high safety, and biodegradability levels. The growing demand for bio-based materials in various end-use industries is anticipated to increase its production and consumption globally. These green polymers are widely utilized for the manufacturing of surface coatings for polymers, cables, and as an additive in plastic industries.

U.S. bio plasticizers market

The supply of toxic phthalates including dibutyl phthalate (DBP), benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP), dioctyl phthalate (DOP), and diethyl phthalate (DEP) has led to the growing consumer awareness in emerging economies such as China and India, which is expected to propel the demand for bio-based plasticizers. It offers several benefits such as temperature as well as electrical functioning as compared to conventional synthetic polymers when used for manufacturing cables. These additives are derived from renewable feedstock such as succinic acid, castor oil, epoxidized soybean oil (ESBO), citrates, and others that help in reducing carbon footprints.

In addition, the ban on phthalate-based additives due to stringent regulatory policies in the major packaging segments of food and pharmaceutical industries has fueled the growth of environmental-friendly plastic resins. However, fluctuations in raw materials prices and high costs associated with bio plasticizers are anticipated to restrain the market growth during the forecast period.

The U.S. market is driven by increasing demand for bio-plasticizers used in producing a broad range of finished product packaging, textiles, building & construction, agriculture, automotive, and transport. High implementation of innovative and advanced extraction technologies and processes to support the rising demand from global clients are some of the significant factors influencing the regional industry growth in the coming years.

Bio-plasticizers are primarily manufactured from vegetable raw materials, and it is used as an alternative to traditional petroleum-based plasticizers. ESBO and succinic acid are the two most commonly utilized raw materials for the production of these additives. ESBO is one of the most preferred additives in food packaging particularly used in PVC gaskets. Myriant and BioAmber are major succinic acid manufacturers which are the key supply the raw materials to the product manufacturers through the North American region.

However, continuous changes in environmental guidelines, protocols, and blending policies are critical constraints faced by manufacturers, intensifying the threat to affect the global bio-plasticizers trade. Moreover, packaging companies are opting for low-cost, yet eco-friendly petrochemical alternatives without compromising on product performance are expected to trigger the market growth in the eight years.

Rising awareness about the adverse effects of using petroleum-based plastics has led to several key U.S. consumers of polymers to shift to green materials, resulting in a steady surge in the global industry. These resins are essential to alter a polymer’s characteristics to suit a particular application in which it is to be used.

Bio Plasticizers Market Trends

Bio-plasticizers are obtained from agricultural products and wastes. They are not miscible and are resistant to leaching. These plasticizers are non-toxic and have lower costs than traditionally formulated plasticizers. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) accounts for a share of 85% to 90% of the overall plasticizers consumed globally. It is used in an array of applications such as electric cables and wire insulation; wall and floor covering; and roofing membranes. PVC is also used in the automotive and paints and inks industries.

As bio-plasticizers are non-toxic, they are increasingly gaining traction as a key component in the global plastics industry. They are also used in packaging; pharmaceuticals and medical devices; building and construction; and automotive and transportation industries as well. With advancements and innovations in production and process technologies, the demand for bio-plasticizers is projected to grow at a substantially higher rate than the demand for traditional plasticizers. This growth is mainly driven by support from governments of different countries in the form of subsidies for manufacturing, and easy trade policies.

Key raw materials used for manufacturing bio-plasticizers include castor oil, soybean oil, linseed oil, and others. Increasing application scope of bio plasticizers in a wide range of end-use industries such as automobiles, construction, packaging, textiles, transport, and agriculture is expected to trigger the industry growth in the coming years. Moreover, the high demand for non-phthalate & bio-plasticizers in varied geographical regions is anticipated to drive the market. Other application segments include inks, medical, waxes, adhesives & sealants, and sports-related goods.

In the automotive & transportation sector, plasticizers are used to enhance the properties of plastics that are increasingly being used as replacements for heavy metal components in vehicles. The use of plastic components in vehicle interior components as well as exteriors, instead of metal parts, has resulted in the reduction of vehicle weight, which, in turn, has resulted in reducing fuel consumption and therefore, lower emissions. The use of bio-plasticizers in the automotive industry is comparatively high due to their environmental-friendly characteristics. Additionally, continuous innovations in the field of bio plasticizers that led to reduced investment costs for carrying out R&D activities and product developments, have substantially increased the scale of competitiveness across key markets worldwide.

Favorable government regulations regarding the use of bio-plasticizers in automotive, textile, and consumer goods industries are expected to drive the global market over the forecast period. Bio-plasticizers are made from renewable and natural raw materials. EU Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006 – REACH states that “there is no adverse effect on human health or the environment from the use of any polymer products”, which is expected to drive the European market over the forecasted years.

The price of bio-plasticizers is directly dependent on Epoxidized Soybean Oil (ESBO), succinic acid, and castor oil availability and prices, which are the key raw materials required for bio-plasticizers production. Oilseed prices are dependent on several factors such as global supply-demand imbalance with declining stock, increasing demand for castor oil from different application segments, production of other major crops, and weather conditions. High demand for castor from the U.S., China, and European countries has resulted in surged prices.

Packaging materials have significant penetration among all segments of bio-plasticizers. The advent of bio-based plastics has played a significant role in food, pharmaceutical, and beverage packaging applications. Compounded plastics, such as PET and PC, are being increasingly replaced by bio-plasticizer polymers in the packaging of beverages, consumer goods, appliances, toys, and apparel. Increasing consumerism in developing and developed markets is expected to be a major driver for bio-plasticizers in packaging applications.

Product Insights

ESBO dominated the overall market while accounting for over 37% of the total demand in 2016. Soybean oil is a light yellow colored vegetable oil derived from soybean seeds. It is broadly used as a stabilizer and an additive in plasticizers. The reactivity of plasticizers increases after the addition of ESBO because of the epoxidation process of carbon-carbon double bonds present in the vegetable oil.

Succinic acids are used to formulate into plastic additives that produce flexible PVC with similar mechanical properties as compared to DOA. They help in the production of bio-based additives which are phthalate-free and contain higher renewability content than traditional synthetic counterparts.

Similarly, castor oil and its derivatives are also used to produce flexible, semi-rigid, rigid, and bio plasticizers. It shows resistance to pigment dispersion, hydrolysis, and has high compatibility with polyether polyols. Citrates are biodegradable, bio-based and compostable plasticizers for PLA and PVC, PHA and other biopolymers.

Several global players have shifted focus towards sustainability in their manufacturing processes and throughout the supply chain to reduce carbon emission, waste, and energy. Recycled bio-based polymers are rapidly gaining popularity since it decreases the adverse environmental effects and ensures secure profits and high premiums to vegetable oil manufacturers.

Application Insights

The product demand in automotive & transport is estimated to observe the fastest growth rate over the projected period and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of over 11.0 % from 2017 to 2025. Bio plasticizers help in reducing fuel consumption and emission by reducing vehicle’ weight. Automotive interior fabrics are also prepared from plant-based polymers that provide similar mechanical properties as compared to conventional synthetic counterparts. Some of the additional advantages include higher stiffness, excellent dimensional stability and electrical properties, better surface gloss, and higher thermal shock resistance.

Packaging materials segments are expected to witness an average growth rate during the forecast period. These specialty additives play an integral role in protective packages (convoluting), flexible & rigid food contact packaging (boxes, cartons, others), and several more packaging options for various industries. The global packaging companies have implemented sophisticated manufacturing and easily adaptable processes to stratify the particular application need of customers, especially in food packaging. These bio-based materials help in protecting food and extending its shelf-life by increasing barrier properties like antimicrobial, oxygen, and moisture resistance.

In agriculture & horticulture, eco-friendly plastics are used to manufacture eco-friendly tarpaulins, irrigation pipes, soil fumigation film, drip tape, nursery pots, and silage bags. Rising environmental constraints related to growing carbon footprints coupled with improved durability and improved properties of finished products are expected to have the edge over the synthetic plastics.

Global bio-plasticizers

Additionally, easy and abundant availability of renewable feedstock also provide a stable supply of raw materials, and hence, support the switch from traditional PVC plastics to organic polymers. Mature economies including the U.S. and Europe are always focusing on producing eco-friendly products and fabrics, especially in the textile and packaging industries.

Regional Insights

China emerged as the dominant country for over 41.3% of the Asia Pacific consumption in 2017 and is projected to grow significantly in the coming years. Rapid industrialization coupled with high urbanization is anticipated to boost market growth across the country.  Moreover, the rising consumption of bio-based packaging material products in emerging economies including India, Japan, and Taiwan contributes to the product demand across the region.

Rising construction activities and growing demand for bio plasticizers are expected to boost the market growth in the region. Major industrial economies such as India, China, Japan, and South Korea consume bio-plasticizers for water treatment, dental care, household bleaching, and chemical applications. The growing population in countries such as India and China, coupled with the rise in income level and purchasing power parity, has led to the high demand for consumer goods including toys and personal & household products. These factors are projected to drive the demand for bio-plasticizers in the region over the forecast period.

North America captured the highest market share due to sustained expansion and technological advancement of the packaging and consumer goods industries. The booming automotive & transport sector in North America is a key factor responsible for the continued growth of the bio-plasticizers market in the region.

The growing consumption of PVC in various industries such as pharmaceuticals, automotive & transportation, and building & construction is likely to positively impact the market demand. Pfizer Inc., Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Abbott, and Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp are the top market players in the North American pharmaceutical industry. Factors such as the increasing aging population, rising cases of non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, cancer, and diabetes, and the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic are fueling the demand for pharmaceutical products in the region. Thus, the growing demand for pharmaceutical products is contributing to the demand for PVC, which, in turn, is expected to fuel the demand for bio-plasticizers.

Moreover, the government is taking initiatives to support the adoption of bio-based plastics in manufacturing processes further boosting the regional market growth. The US EPA and EU regulations and legislations have imposed policies aiming at the development of eco-friendly products, encouraging sustainable manufacturing practices, and lowering carbon footprint, in turn, is likely to trigger market growth.

Europe is run by major industrial economies such as the UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain with an increasing number of manufacturers and various market suppliers of personal care & cosmetics products, pharmaceutical products, and automobile manufacturers penetrating the regional ecosystem. Bio plasticizers are used as additives in the manufacturing of cosmetic products such as fragrances, lipstick, shower gel, and oral care, among others. The presence of major manufacturing units of personal care & cosmetic products is expected to drive the demand for bio plasticizers in the European region.

Competitive Insights

Various industry participants of the bio-plasticizers market include Evonik Industries, Dow Chemical Company, Lanxess AG, PolyOne Corporation, BioAmber Inc., and Danisco US Inc. Other global players including BASF SE, Solvay SA, and Emery Oleochemicals LLC are actively engaged in technology & product innovations, industrial collaborations, and R&D initiatives to widen their product portfolios and broaden their customer reach. Emerging economies such as China, Japan, and India are expected to open new market expansion opportunities for industry players over the forecast period. The industry is consolidated with few companies occupying significant market share.

Most manufacturers are sensitive to commodity & energy prices along with necessary raw material costs, which creates challenges to earn high-profit margins, due to the volatility nature of these material prices in the global market. Companies are often prepared to respond in case of signs of a broader turndown and inventory buildup, by portfolio consolidation, restructuring, temporary production shutdowns, and other business strategies.

Bio Plasticizers Market Report Scope

Report Attribute


Market size value in 2020


Revenue forecast in 2025


Growth rate

CAGR of %from 2020 to 2025

Base year for estimation


Historical data

2014 - 2018

Forecast period

2020 - 2025

Quantitative units

Revenue in USD Million, Volume in Units & CAGR from 2020 to 2025

Report coverage

Revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends

Segments covered

Product, application, and region

Regional scope

North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; Middle East and Africa; Central and America

Country scope

U.S.; Canada; Mexico; France; U.K.; Germany; China; Japan; India

Key companies profiled

The Dow Chemical Company; Evonik Industries AG; Solvay S.A.; PolyOne Corporation; BioAmber Inc.; Danisco US Inc.; Emery Oleochemicals LLC; Myriant Corporation; Lanxess AG; BASF SE

Customization scope

Free report customization (equivalent to up to 8 analyst working days) with purchase. Addition or alteration to country, regional, and segment scope.

Pricing and purchase options

Avail customized purchase options to meet your exact research needs. Explore purchase options


Segments Covered in the Report

This report forecasts revenue growth and provides an analysis of the latest trends in each of the sub-segments from 2014 to 2025. For the purpose of this report, Grand View Research has segmented the global bio-plasticizers market on the basis of carbon chain lengths, product, application, and region:

  • Product Outlook (Volume, Kilo Tons; Revenue, USD Million 2014 - 2025)

    • Epoxidized Soybean Oil (ESBO) 

    • Castor Oil-Based Plasticizers 

    • Citrates 

    • Succinic Acid 

    • Others

  • Application Outlook (Volume, Kilo Tons; Revenue, USD Million 2014 - 2025)

    • Packaging Materials 

    • Consumer Goods 

    • Automotive & transport

    • Building & construction

    • Textiles

    • Agriculture & horticulture

    • Others

  • Regional Outlook (Volume, Kilo Tons; Revenue, USD Million 2014 - 2025)

    • North America

      • The U.S.

      • Canada

      • Mexico

    •  Europe

      • Germany

      • The U.K.

      • France

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • India

      • Japan

    • The Middle East and Africa

    • Central & South America

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