The global malic acid downstream potential market is expected to witness growth over the forecast period, driven by the growing biomedical and pharmaceutical industry. Increasing malic acid derivatives demand in the pharmaceutical industry is anticipated to fuel the market growth over the next six years. Malic acid derivatives are used to treat various hereditary skin diseases such as psoriasis.
Reacting amino acids such as serine and glycine with malic acid functional groups, for instance, amide groups produce conjugates which result in higher effectiveness in psoriasis treatment. Malic acid is used as a platform chemical to manufacture various compounds such as malamides, C (4) - monoesters, derivatives of 3,4-dihydroxy-butanol, and derivatives of 2,4 - dihydroxybutanol. Malic acid can be further converted into derivatives such as BDO (1.4-butanediol), THF (tetrahydrofuran), and GBL (γ-butyrolactone), which are used in the manufacturing of plastics, polymers, and resins.
Increasing plastics, polymers, and resins demand from various end-use industries coupled with the growing requirement for bio-degradable alternative feedstock are expected to drive malic acid downstream potential market growth over the foreseeable future. Malic acid is used to produce bio-based polyesters which find application in pharmaceuticals used to treat cancer cells. Increasing bio-based polyester derivatives demand in the pharmaceutical industry is expected to drive market growth over the forecast period.
Malic acid is synthetically produced by double hydration of maleic anhydride which is converted to maleic acid and then malic acid. Malic acid may also be derived from renewable resources and is produced by fermentation of the fungus aspergillus flavus. Companies such as Novozymes and Myriant have developed proprietary technologies based on the aforementioned fermentation process. Currently, 80% of global malic acid is produced synthetically and the remaining is produced by renewable sources. The commercialization of bio-based malic acid at competitive pricing as compared to its synthetic counterpart is expected to create immense opportunities to be used as a platform chemical over the forecast period. This may be further supported by favorable government regulations for bio-based chemicals coupled with a low production cost of bio-based malic acid.
The realization of white spaces in the R&D of malic acid derivatives might also provide lucrative downstream potential for the industry. The ability of conjugate compounds to be easily formulated in tablets and ointments is expected to augment malic acid downstream potential market growth over the forecast period. Malic acid derivatives find several applications in stereochemistry as resolving agents, ligands, auxiliaries, and chiral four carbon building blocks which are further used in biomedical and pharmaceutical industries.
Increasing the aforementioned derivatives demand in biomedical and pharmaceutical industries is expected to drive malic acid demand as a platform chemical in the next few years. Functional degradable nanoparticles derived from these chemicals are used for treating cancer cell lines and are expected to propel malic acid downstream potential market growth over the forecast period.
Technological advancements coupled with increasing requirements for alternative feedstock for manufacturing various downstream derivatives are anticipated to augment market growth in the next few years. The downstream processing for product recovery from the fermentation broth is around 50% to 70% of the total production cost and therefore has a high impact on the economic feasibility of the whole process. Obtaining high purity of malic acid from the fermentation broth involves the separation of biomass by membrane filtration or centrifugation, removal of impurities & primary separation, and purification of the acid by vacuum evaporation and crystallization.
Europe and North America are moving towards developing a biobased economy and have taken various initiatives for funding biochemical manufacturing plants. The majority of future demand for the malic acid downstream potential market is expected to come from countries such as the U.S., Canada, China, Brazil, South Africa, Japan, France, Germany, and Italy.
Major companies operating in the global malic acid downstream potential market include Fuso Chemical Co. Ltd, Thirumalai Chemicals Ltd, BASF SE, Ashland Inc., and Mitsui Chemicals.
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Halted manufacturing activities across various end-use industries has led to weakened demand for specialty polymers. The prevailing macroenvironment due to the pandemic shall register indications of recovery depending on the course of COVID-19's prevalence and subsequent resuming of manufacturing activities. The report will account for Covid19 as a key market contributor.