Increasing awareness towards products derived from renewable sources coupled with depleting petrochemical reserves is expected to drive bio acrylic acid market size. Acrylic acid market size was estimated at over 5.5 million tons in 2015 and is likely to exceed 8.7 million tons by 2023 growing at a CAGR of more than 5.5% from 2016 to 2023.
With successful implementation of green route, bio acrylic acid market commercialization is expected to reduce manufacturer dependency on propylene with alternative feedstock such as glycerol, corn, and sugar. Some process are expected to derived a fully bio based routes while other process can use a combination of chemical conversion and biosynthesis.
Acrylic esters market dominated the industry and accounted for over 55% of the total demand in 2014 and is likely to grow at more than 5.5% up to 2023. Glacial acrylic acid market accounted for more than 35% of the total demand in 2014 and is likely to witness highest gains over the forecast period.
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Personal care products were the dominant end-user industry segment and accounted for more than 30% of the total volume in 2014. Surfactants & surface coatings accounted for more than 16% of the total demand and is likely to witness highest gains of over 6% up to 2023.
Industry participants are focusing to derive products from renewable and sustainable chemicals which have resulted in the development of various green routes for bio acrylic acid production. Being a green process, these bio based routes also offer to hedge against raw material prices of propylene and ethylene. Cost is a critical factor for industry penetration, acrylic acid market price trend saw a surge in 2015 and is likely to remain stable over the next year.
There can be an upward pressure in propylene prices where the manufacturers are relying on shale gas to extract low cost ethylene and propylene which depends upon the naphtha pyrolysis. Currently, the manufacturers are obtaining acrylic acid through a two stage based propylene oxidation technology in which the license holders are investing to develop a cost effective process through optimized parameters, new catalyst formulations and reactor design modifications.
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Favorable government regulations to develop sustainable products in the form of funding and stimulus packages are also likely to support bio acrylic acid market size. Industry success and market momentum to develop bio routes are however limited by knowledge and experience of technology developers. This factor have resulted a witness in joint-ventures and key-partnership development over the past few years in order to benefit from the ongoing process.
Bio acrylic acid production via 3-hydropropionic acid (3-HP) have witness two strategic partnerships from industry leaders such as Dow & OPXbio and Cargill & Novozymes. These companies have individual strengths such as established distributed & international market presence and other with strong hold in bioengineering or biosynthesis process.
For instance, Novozymes can leverage from Cargill’s understanding on agri-business to source feedstock for technology development. Dow can provide OPXbio the desired funds, industry experience and design capability for processing and product purification.
Bio acrylic acid market share can be characterized by fragmentation level among technology developers for adopting different sustainable routes from distinct raw materials for product development. The development of the bio based routes is also dependent upon the high yield coupled with cost competitiveness against conventional propylene technology. The success of the bio based routes is mostly dependent upon the initial feedstock.
Key companies such as Nippon Shokubai and Arkema have invested to develop bio based acid from glycerin/glycerol. The pilot scale production was success but the further implementation of the process is dependent upon the availability and cost of glycerol which is majorly influenced by government legislatives for bio fuel production. Glycerol is a byproduct from biodiesel production.
Novomer is developing bio-adaptable process which uses proprietary catalysts for polypropiolactone production from ethylene oxide derived from renewable or petrochemical based sources. Glacial acrylic acid can be derived from polypropiolactone via pyrolysis. This provides Novomer to develop facilities to operate simultaneously in petrochemical and bio based process. This unique process may allow Novomer to hedge against market volatility and as well as provide advantage when the industry is moving towards capturing bio acrylic acid market share, where renewable feedstock are cost competitive and readily available.
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