Shift in trend towards reducing reliance on petrochemical products is expected to remain a key driving factor for global starch polymers market over the next six years. Starch consists of highly branched polysaccharide amylopectin & linear polysaccharide amylase and is derived from photosynthesis in plants that includes rice wheat, corn and potato. Increasing petrochemical prices coupled with depleting fossil fuel reserves is expected to have a significant effect on the starch polymers market growth. Starch polymers along with providing environmental benefits are also expected to provide economical benefits to manufacturers in the long run. Synthetic polymers are non-recyclable, non-renewable, non-biodegradable and incorporate toxic additives into surrounding environment. Increasing government intervention to reduce effect of green house gases (GNG) is also expected to drive starch polymers market. Starch polymers are widely used for food packaging, as textile sizing agents, adhesives and healthcare applications. Positive outlook on global packaging industry particularly industrial packaging and bag & sack films is expected to have a positive influence on the market growth. Packaging industry dominated the application for starch polymers in the past few years.
Large scale production of other bio based products such as polylactic acid (PLA) is expected to remain a key challenge for market participants. Bio-based PLA manufactured from chemical treatment of sugar and native starch have excellent physical properties in comparison to starch polymers. Companies have been investing heavily on their R&D to develop novel application of starch polymers, which hold immense market potential. Starch can be modified using plasticizers, esterification and blending with fossil based products. This improves the melting properties for fabrication of thermoplastic starch (TPS) products. Blending of plasticized starch with various polymers helps to overcome the limitations of physical properties. Loose foam films and “take away” food containers are potential applications of starch polymers based products.
Europe accounts for a major share in the market mainly on account of favorable regulatory environment for bio-based/renewable chemical manufacturers. Following Europe, North America is expected to witness an increase in starch polymer demand. Other significant demand is expected from emerging economies of Asia Pacific and South America. Emerging markets in these regions such as China, India, Brazil and Mexico are anticipated to witness higher growth rate owing to population expansion and increase in disposable incomes.
Key industry participants include Novamont, Japan Corn Starch, Biotec and Rodenberg. Other major players include BIOP, Plantic, Wuhun Huali Enviornment Protection Sci & Tech, Biograde, PSM and Livan.
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