The global bio based construction polymers market size was USD 11.87 billion in 2015. Rising concern towards petrochemical products coupled with increasing adoption of renewable products is expected to propel the market for biobased construction polymers over the forecast period.
A major source of green-house gas emissions is associated with fossil fuel usage across various industrial operating facilities. Growing concern towards carbon dioxide footprint in large scale manufacturing units has urged the industry to shift towards biobased polymers.
Increasing R&D to develop eco-friendly renewable products has increased the use of bio based polymers in the construction industry. High production costs and less developed global supply value chain are expected to hinder bio based construction polymers. Global bio based product demand is not entirely capitalized to realize the economies of scale and market is less developed to compete with well-established petroleum based product.
A recent breakthrough in technology has shifted focus towards manufacturing bio based polymers from bacterial fermentation.The technology involves synthesizing monomers from renewable sources that include fatty acids, cellulose, and starch.
The favorable regulatory scenario in various countries and initiatives by regional governments in support of biopolymers are expected to have a positive impact on market growth over the forecast period.
Government regulations such as Lead Market Initiative (UK) and BioPreferred (U.S.) favor the use of bio based raw material for polymer production. Major polymer manufacturers are shifting their focus towards developing sustainable technologies and are collaborating with various individual bi based technology firms in order to manufacture bio based polymers.
U.S. bio based construction polymers market volume by product, 2014 – 2024 (Kilo Tons)
“Polyurethanewas the leading product segment followed by epoxies”
Polyurethane dominated the global demand and accounted for over 26% of the total volume in 2015. The product segment is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.2% over the next eight years. Application of biobased polyurethanes as insulation in the building and construction industry is a significant opportunity for the market particularly in the US and Europe.
Bio based epoxies market is estimated to witness moderate growth over the next few years on account of its wide range of applications in the construction industry such as in paints & coatings, adhesives, and in wood & concrete repair.
Polylactic acid (PLA) and Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) are expected to witness the fastest growth in the bio based polymer industry owing to increasing use and numerous advantages over other products. PLA is a bio-derived monomer used as a suspending agent, foam, pore-forming agent, binder and coating adhesive in the construction industry.
PHA produced from microorganism is used as a coating, viscosifier, and pore-forming agent. The other bio based polymers produced worldwide include Polytrimethylene terephthalate (PTT) and Polybutylene succinate (PBS).
“Pipes was the largest application segment in 2015”
Major applications include pipe and insulation. The pipe was the largest application segment and accounted for over 37% of the global demand in 2015. The construction industry has been a major consumer of plastics with their applications ranging mainly from pipe fittings & insulation.
Use of plastics compounding is also increasing in pipes and fittings segments supported by their reduced cost structures, long life span, corrosion resistance and light weight.Typical applications where bio based construction polymers are used include window and door profiles, pipes and guttering, cement, flooring, glazing, sealants and adhesives, insulation, building panels and roofing.
The growing trend of using bio based polymer in profiles used in bridge engineering for all composite structures is anticipated to propel the market growth over the forecast period. Profile application is expected to witness the fastest growth at a CAGR of 10.6% over the next eight years. Other construction applications include bridge bearings, FRP bridge section, glazing sealant, concrete molds, concrete jointing, cladding panel, and floorings anchor fixings.
“Asia Pacific was the leading regional segment followed by Europe”
The major demand is expected from emerging markets of Asia Pacific and South America. Countries such as China, India and Brazil are anticipated to witness high growth owing to increasing infrastructure activities and favorable bio based product political framework.
Moderate growth is expected from matured markets such as North America and Europe. Countries such as U.S. and U.K. are expected to lose their market share to Asia Pacific countries owing to less infrastructural activities taking place in these regions.
“Highly competitive industry moving towards consolidation”
The global bio based construction polymers market is highly competitive, and it is expected to move towards consolidation and may witness an increase in mergers, acquisitions and strategic alliances over the forecast period.
Major companies include SK Chemicals, BASF SE, Evonik Industries, Mitsubishi Gas Chemical, Nature Works LLC, Bio-On, Toyobo, DuPont de Nemours, Teijin Plastics and PolyOne. Other players include Tate & Lyle, Hiusan Biosciences, Kaneka TEPHA, Synbra and Metabolix.