New biopolymers created the initial buzz in bioplastics. But making drop-in commodity chemicals from renewable feedstocks has captured the imagination of many in the chemical industry. “The starch guys and the polylactic acid producers are still there and still rapidly expanding,” said Jim Lunt, founder and managing director of Jim Lunt and Associates LLC, a technology commercialization firm based in Wayzata, Minn.
“But the market trend is clearly moving to bio-based polymers that are identical to polymers made from petroleum,” said Lunt in an interview. “We’re seeing a whole slew of startups focused on making building blocks to make large commodity polymers. “Those drop-in replacements of existing petroleum-based monomers will be the first to market” of those now on the drawing board, rather than new bioresins with new products.
Keywords: market capacity, non-food feedstocks, single-use products, niche markets, market growth
Source: Plastics News, 2011-08-26.