Succinic acid, itaconic acid and 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA). The ‘US Department of Energy for sugar-based compounds’ assigns these three building blocks to the TOP 12 platform chemicals. Interviews with 60 key players from the international chemical industry resulted in a meaningful report of the current market potential and the most attractive end use applications. This work was carried out within the EU funded project BioConSepT in 2012 and 2013.
BioConSepT is a 13M€ EU project, coordinated by TNO (Netherlands) which aims to produce consumer goods out of biomass, which is not competing with the food chain. It is envisaged that processes which convert 2nd generation biomass (lignocellulose and oils & fats) into valuable chemicals will be 30% cheaper and 30% more sustainable than the corresponding chemical routes, or the biotechnology processes starting from 1st generation feedstocks.
For each of the three intermediates project partner Weastra analyzed the current market and their petrol-based and bio-based substitutes. The potential end use applications have been identified and the market potential was quantified for the most attractive end use applications. Myriant, Itaconix, Rhodia and DSM are only four of 60 companies who contributed to the report.
“I’ve never seen such a detailed market study on chemical intermediates deriving from 2nd generation biomass”, project coordinator Dirk Verdoes (TNO) stated, “This is a valuable report to understand market volumes, growth rates, cost drivers, market values, trends and future potentials. It gives us a green light to proceed with the application oriented research.”
Thorough research on B2B consumer needs, requirements and expectations on the end use side allowed further conclusions on marketability of the bio-based intermediates within several end use applications. The report also includes a review on the chances and limitations of a replacement of the current state of the art chemical routes by routes relying on bio-based intermediates. Competing products and substitutes were also examined.
The detailed secondary market research was backed up by primary market research with in-depth interviews with potential consumers, producers and other market experts. These interviews provided a valuable inside into trends, markets readiness and estimations of the potential of the developed products.
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Source: BioConSepT, press release, 2013-08-02.