New European JRC study details potential of bio-based chemicals in the EU

January 24, 2019 |

In Belgium, a new Joint Research Center study details the potential of bio-based chemicals in EU markets, and estimates their annual growth rate at about 3.6% per year from 2018 to 2025.

In their report, the scientists describe 10 key bio-based chemical product categories, their market production and consumption levels for the EU, their level of maturity on the market and the main drivers of and constraints to their future production.

As bio-based chemicals have yet to be precisely defined, official European statistics provide limited insights on their environmental impacts and production trends.

Based on detailed methodology, market data and expert opinions, the authors estimate that overall EU bio-based production accounts for about 4.7 Mt of bio-based chemicals per year, equivalent to about 3% of the total market for the 10 key products.

Their findings also show that each product category will evolve differently in terms of market maturity, market potential and the percentage of bio-based chemical involved.

For instance, bio-based polymers for plastic are already very popular, especially for the production of disposable items and packaging, but their production still involves few bio-based chemicals. Conversely, surfactants – commonly used in the personal care industry – contain a high percentage of bio-based chemicals, mainly vegetable oil, but their production is already mature so their market will not evolve significantly in the future.

Under a business-as-usual scenario, the overall average annual growth rate of these 10 products is estimated at about 3.6%. In other words, their demand is not expected to grow rapidly.

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