The Growing Biobased Chemcial Market

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The Growing Biobased Chemical Market

Product Opportunities

The Glycell process can operate at any scale, small or large, providing maximum flexibility for a plant to be suited to the scale of potential opportunities in the bio-based chemical, bioplastic and biofuel markets.

At $65 billion1, the bio-based chemical market is already large but is forecast to secure 22% of the $2 trillion chemical market by 20252. Underpinning this growth is the fact that “virtually every petroleum-based chemical can be replaced by a biomass-derived chemical”3. The goal of major chemical companies is to have 25% of their chemicals bio-based by 20204.

At $2 billion5, bio-plastics is a smaller market although Morgan Stanley predicts it to grow by an annual rate of up to 40%5. Given that the fossil-based plastics market is currently 75 times larger6 and that up to 90% of fossil-based plastics can be replaced by bio-based plastics6, the potential for growth is significant. Companies such as Coca Cola recognise this opportunity:

“We are working to completely eliminate the use of non-renewable fossil fuels in our plastic bottles” -Coca-Cola

Low-Cost Cellulosic Sugars


The lower price of cellulosic sugars from the Glycell process also opens up possibilities to replace starch, particularly corn starch, as an input to the 200 corn ethanol plants in the USA. The ability to supplement existing ethanol mills with cellulosic sugar inputs will greatly enhance the environmental benefits of this industry.

Such diverse opportunities are strongly supported by the abundant supply of biomass. There is enough biomass in the world for the production of $7507 billion of cellulosic sugars. In this context, the Glycell process represents a real economic breakthrough because it utilizes every portion of biomass input. For example, 94% cellulose (C6) is converted to sugars quickly and in large quantities. Hemi cellulose (C5) is developed as a separate stream of sugars to open up more product opportunities. Lignin comes through the process in a native form, which has higher value usage in chemical world than the current utilization of conventional burning.



Adding Value


Other benefits for chemical production and derivative products come directly as a result of using biomass. One of the biggest is that biomass already contains the oxygen necessary to develop a wide range of chemicals and other elements required to develop plastics. By contrast, petro chemical production requires introducing oxygen and other key elements at additional cost.



1 National Research Council (USA); Industrialisation of Biology

2 Unite States Department of Agriculture: U.S. Biobased Products: Market potential and projections through 2025

3 IEA Bioenergy Task 42 Biobase Chemicals Value added products from Biorefineries

4 Proctor & Gamble, DuPont websites

5 Morgan & Stanley Blue Paper Aug 2012: Green is Good – The Potential of Bioplastics

6 Deloitte Access Economics: Economic impact of a future tropical biorefinery industry in Queensland

7 Various UNESCO and Government reports valuing cellulosic sugars at $250 per ton