Text of Strong growth prospects seen for bio-based materials and chemicals
for process developers, faced withglobal warming, energy shortages,waste mountains, air pollution, ozoneholes, and financial crises. They haverisen to the challenge.
Alan E. Comyns
*Encyclopedic Dictionary of Named Processes inChemical Technology, Feb 2014, CRC Press, UK. ISBN 978-1466567764, 416 pp, £95
Speciality companies in Europe investin bio-based chemicals production
At the European Forum for IndustrialBiotechnology & the BiobasedEconomy (EFIB) held in Brussels,Belgium, on 30 Sep- 2 Oct 2013,several companies discussed theirstrategies, initiatives, and progress inmoving towards a biobased economyin Europe. On 3 Dec 2013, EUMember States adopted the €80 bnHorizon 2020 research and innovationinitiative. Most company executivescited the need for funding andconsistent policy making in order forEurope to be competitive in industrialbiotechnology and to reap its benefitsto the fullest. The €2 trillionbiotechnology industry could mitigate1-2.5 M tonne/y of carbon dioxideequivalent in emissions by 2030.According to DSM’s biobasedchemicals VP, the company haspartnered with biobased companiessuch as Roquette and Poet toproduce biobased materials likerapeseed oil-based thermoplasticelastomer Arnitel Eco. The companyhas also been developing its ownbiotech products from renewablefeedstocks by fermentation andchemocatalysis. Clariant offersSunliquid platform technology whichuses enzyme fermentation to produceethanol, C2 chemicals, and cellulosicsugars. Its pilot plant has beenoperational for four years and isawaiting conversion into industrialscale. In the US, DuPont is about toconstruct a €160 M commercial scalefuel-grade ethanol plant in Nevada, IAusing corn stover as feedstock. Theplant with 114 M litre/y is expected tobe completed by mid-2014. Theprocess includes milling, pretreatmentwith ammonia, saccharification, and
fermentation using bacteria. After 20years, Novamont, a Mater-Bi starch-based bioplastics and vegetable oil-based polyester producer hasbecome a €160 M/y firm. It hasopened a €500 M integratedbiorefinery with 680 employees beforeend-2013.
Global enzyme market to grow steadilyand reach $7 bn by 2017
According to a new study byFreedonia Group Inc, global demandfor enzymes will rise by 6.3%/y toalmost $7 bn in 2017. The reportpredicts substantial improvements indeveloping countries with higherdemand for such consumer goods asfood and beverages, cleaningproducts and animal feed. The rapidgrowth of the middle class in suchcountries as China and India will be amain growth driver. The robusteconomic and industrial growth willalso positively affect a number ofindustrial enzyme markets. Thesetrends will lead to above-averageincreases in Central and SouthAmerica, Eastern Europe, Africa andthe Middle East. In speciality markets,demand would improve due to thelower costs of DNA sequencing,which will lead to increased use ofenzymes in research and biotech-nology and diagnostic applications.However, demand in North Americawill be limited by the rising oppositionto grain-based biofuels and delays incommercializing next-generationcellulosic biofuel technologies.According to Freedonia, it is expectingniche opportunities to emerge with thesupport of the positive environmentalprofile offered by enzymes. A tablepresents world enzyme demand byregion from 2007 to 2017.
The report “Specialty EnzymesMarket by Source (Microorganism,Plant, Animal), Type (Carbohydrases,Protease, Lipase, Polymerases &Nucleases), Application
(Pharmaceutical, Research &biotechnology, Diagnostic, Bio-Catalyst), and Geography - GlobalTrends & Forecasts to 2018”, definesand segments the speciality enzymesmarket with an analysis and forecastof the global value for specialityenzymes. It also identifies the drivingand restraining factors for thespeciality enzymes market with ananalysis of trends, opportunities,burning issues, winning imperatives,and challenges. The market issegmented and its value is forecaston the basis of major regions such asNorth America, Europe, Asia-Pacific,and Rest of the World (ROW).
Original Source: MarketsandMarkets, 2014. Found on PR Newswire, 1 Mar 2014, (Website:http://www.prnewswire.com)
Oxo-biodegradable plastics:environment friend or foe
As reported by Freedonia, a 19%surge in annual global demand willpush bio-based plastics output to960,000 tonnes by 2017. Oxo-biodegradable plastics (OBPs) aremade from petroleum-derivedpolymers containing special additiveslike d2w to catalyze its oxidationprocess. OBP proponents like Symph-ony Environmental Technologies andBioplastics International have beensupported by independent studiesconducted by the South African-basedRoediger Agencies and UK-basedLoughborough University’s Depart-ment for Environment, Food andRural Affairs (DEFRA)-commissionedstudy. Organizations such asEuropean Bioplastics, theBiodegradable Products Institute, andthe SPI Bioplastics Council haveopposed the use of oxo-biodegradable plastics due to theiralleged negative effects on health andthe environment. A group of FrenchMPs has called for their suspension,while the Belgian trade associationEuPC has sought a Europe-wide ban.
Strong growth prospects seen for bio-based materials and chemicals
A report published by Lux Researchrevealed strong growth for the bio-based material and chemical market
2 MAY 2014
F O C U S O N C A T A L Y S T S
with the continued improvement oftechnologies to commercial manu-facturing levels and increasingrevenues. Intermediate chemicals likeadipic acid and lactic acid areexpected to post the highest growthfrom 2 M tonne/y to 4.9 M tonne/y in2017. Meanwhile, bio-derivedpolymers will increase their current1.1 M tonne/y capacity by 18%/ythrough 2017. According to the report,players like Segetis and Solazyme willbenefit from the 46% compoundannual growth rate (CAGR) ofspeciality chemicals like farnesenebetween 2014 and 2017. NorthAmerica is seen to emerge as the topregion in terms of global capacity asstart-ups like Gevo construct moreAmerican facilities. Europe’s capacityshare will amount to 37% in 2017.First-generation sugar-starchfeedstock like sugarcane and corn willcontinue to lead all bio-basedsources. New sources like bio-oilsand waste gas will drive the decline ofcellulosic feedstock’s market sharefrom 67% to 27%.
Alcohol and starch/sugar enzymemarket worth $2238 M by 2018
The report “Alcohol and Starch/SugarEnzyme Market by Type(Carbohydrase, Protease, andLipase), by Application (Industrial,Specialty) & Geography - GlobalTrends & Forecasts to 2018”, definesand segments the global alcohol andstarch/sugar enzymes market withanalysis and forecast of the globalvalue for alcohol and starch/sugarenzymes. It also identifies driving andrestraining factors for the globalalcohol and starch/sugar enzymesmarket with analysis of trends,opportunities, burning issues, winningimperatives, and challenges. Themarket is segmented and the value isforecasted on the basis of majorregions such as North America,Europe, APAC, and Rest of the World(RoW). Alcohol and starch/sugarenzyme market is projected to beworth $2238 M by 2018 and isexpected to grow at a CAGR of 7.9%from 2013 to 2018.
Original Source: MarketsandMarkets, 2014. Found on PR Newswire, 24 Mar 2014, (Website:http://www.prnewswire.com)
ADM invests in biotech Rennovia
Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) hasannounced a $25 M equity investmentin Rennovia, a biobased chemicalstart-up company. Rennovia isdeveloping a catalytic process that willproduce adipic acid andhexamethylenediamine from sugars.The two chemicals are used toproduce nylon 6,6. ADM expects thatthe technology and its products will becombined with the company’sofferings of renewable chemicals.
BASF produces first commercialvolumes of butanediol from renewableraw material
BASF has manufactured the firstbatch of 1,4-butanediol (BDO) fromrenewable raw material through aproprietary fermentation technology ofCalifornia, US-based Genomatica,which uses dextrose as a renewablefeedstock. Volumes of BDO producedby the company will be available inthe market for testing and commercialpurposes. BASF intends to includeselected BDO derivatives based onrenewable feedstock, such aspolytetrahydrofuran (PolyTHF), in itsproduct portfolio. BDO and itsderivatives are used in the productionof various chemicals such as plastics,textiles and electronic chemicals. InJul 2013, BASF announced its plan toexpand its global capacities for BDOto 650,000 tonnes and for PolyTHF to350,000 tonnes in the next two years.
China’s new PDH unit employsClariant’s catalyst technology
Switzerland-based Clariant hasstarted the operations of its 600,000tonne/y propane dehydrogenation(PDH) unit in Tianjin, China, utilizingits Catofin method and catalysttechnology. The Catofin technology is
licenced through CB&I. The shale gasboom and increased demand forpropylene production drives thesteady growth of global Catofincatalysts demand. High Chinesepolypropylene and other propylenederivatives demand strengthens PDHinterest in the country. NumerousCatofin manufacturing facilities areslated for startup in China in thecoming 12-18 months.
Versalis and Elevance RenewableSciences have teamed up to developa new metathesis technology that willenable the production of bio-basedchemicals from vegetable oil. WhileElevance already has a facility inGresik, Indonesia, that utilizes thetechnology, the partners will create amolybdenum-catalyzed metathesistechnology that Elevance has shownwith XiMo, a start-up catalyst facility inSwitzerland. Versalis is an Italian firmwith expertise in catalysis processdevelopment.
On 3 Feb 2014, W R Grace & Coannounced its exit from bankruptcyafter almost 13 years of courtprotection. To achieve this, it made aseries of settlements on asbestosclaims. The most recent settlementwas made in late 2013, in which thecompany agreed to pay $4 bn tovictims of asbestos-related diseasesand clean-up of asbestoscontamination. The company, aproducer of catalysts, constructionproducts, and speciality chemicals,records sales of $3 bn/y.