Published: April 2014
Bio-based chemicals were very much in the spotlight in 2008, when crude oil prices soared and concerns about dwindling natural resources were widespread. The recent surge in shale gas and tight oil production has largely allayed those fears. Now chemical producers and their customers are asking if bio-based chemicals make economic or market sense in a world of abundant fossil fuel feedstocks.
The answer to that question depends on the specific chemical and end-use market. Newly abundant supplies of natural gas liquids have reenergized the ethylene industry. At the same time, supplies of some conventional feedstocks (C3, C4, C5 and pygas, co-products of steam cracking) have tightened as ethylene producers switch to lighter feedstocks. As a result, interest in sugars, glycerin and other plant-derived feedstocks remains strong.
This comprehensive report provides an objective and unbiased view of a wide range of bio-based chemicals and their prospects versus conventional chemicals (chemicals derived from natural gas, crude oil or coal). The emphasis is on near-commercial and commercial products, and will be of interest to strategic planners, market researchers, and business development managers in petrochemical companies, agribusinesses, biotech firms, consumer packaged goods companies, beverage and food companies, financial analysts, investment banks, and equity investors.