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Advances in Renewable Chemicals



This report describes the rationale for the development of a viable renewable chemicals industry and the potential applications of renewable chemicals, both current and projected. The dynamics of the renewable chemicals market are discussed, including market drivers and challenges, and growth in key market segments and economies is projected to 2016.


  • Understand the major issues facing the renewable chemical industry, including the impact of emerging markets and emerging providers.
  • Identify areas of the renewable chemicals market expected to show strongest growth over the coming 5 years.
  • Understand recent research into renewable chemicals and keep abreast of latest developments.
  • Assess competitor activity in the field of renewable chemicals and identify potential current and future threats.
  • Anticipate the impact of environmental legislation on all businesses, including those not directly involved in the manufacture of chemicals.


A thriving renewable chemicals industry will rely on close collaborations between diverse industries including agricultural, pharmaceutical, fine chemical, petrochemical and waste management companies. Such cross-disciplinary collaborations are increasingly common, and involve mergers, acquisitions, and memoranda of understanding.

The development of platform chemicals that can act as a gateway into a range of renewable end-products and applications represents the current area of greatest research activity.

Two parallel strategies for the development of renewable chemicals exist; the direct replacement of existing petrochemicals ('drop-ins') and the development of alternative chemicals ('novels'). The drop-in model is likely to predominate over the short term.


  • Which segments in the renewable chemicals market will show strongest growth over the next 5 years?
  • Which companies are currently offering the greatest innovations in the development of renewable chemicals?
  • Where in the world is the market in renewable chemicals showing the strongest growth?
  • What are the major barriers to growth in the renewable chemicals industry?
  • What are the most significant innovations in the renewable chemicals industry?

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

  • Biomass to chemical: an overview
  • Applications of renewable chemicals
  • Market dynamics
  • Market size and growth
  • Key players
  • Future trends

About the author

  • Disclaimer

Biomass to chemical: an overview

  • Summary
  • Overview of renewable chemicals
  • Introduction: biomass to chemicals
  • Biomass overview
    • Plant biomass
    • Animal biomass
    • Marine biomass
    • Waste biomass
  • Strategies for producing chemicals from biomass
    • [Missing title]
    • "Drop-in" chemicals versus "novel" chemicals
  • Biorefineries
  • Catalysis

Applications of renewable chemicals

  • Summary
  • Introduction
  • Platform chemicals
  • Bioplastics/biopolymers
  • Textiles
  • Lubricants
  • Biocomposites

Market dynamics

  • Summary
  • Introduction
  • Convergence of industries
  • Market drivers
    • Underlying certainties
    • Political pressure for renewable chemical market development
    • Economic pressure for renewable chemical market development
    • Consumer pressures for renewable chemical market development
  • Market challenges
    • Attracting investment
    • Market distortion
    • Cost competition from petrochemicals
    • Feedstock prices and supply of biomass
    • Lack of existing infrastructure
    • Competition from renewable energy
    • Technical challenges

Market size and growth

  • Summary
  • Introduction
  • Traditional chemicals market
    • Projected total chemicals market
  • Renewable chemicals market
    • Overall renewable chemicals market size to 2016
    • Biodiesel
    • Ethanol
    • Biopolymers
    • Platform chemicals
    • Intermediate renewable chemicals
  • Geographic analysis

Key Players

  • Summary
  • Introduction
  • Companies profiled
    • [Missing title]
    • Amyris (US)
    • Archer Daniels Midland Company (US)
    • Avantium (Netherlands)
    • BASF Group (Germany)
    • Bayer (Germany)
    • BioAmber (US)
    • BlueFire Renewables, Inc (US)
    • Borregaard (Norway)
    • Braskem (Brazil)
    • Cargill (US)
    • Cobalt Technologies (US)
    • Codexis (US)
    • DSM (Netherlands)
    • DuPont (US)
    • DuPont Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol LLC (US)
    • Elevance Renewable Sciences, Inc (US)
    • Evonik (Germany)
    • Genencor International, Inc (US)
    • Genomatica (US)
    • Gevo, Inc
    • KiOR (US)
    • LS9, Inc (US)
    • Mascoma Corporation (US)
    • Metabolix
    • Myriant Technologies LLC (US)
    • NatureWorks LLC (US)
    • Novozymes A/S (Denmark)
    • OPX Biotechnologies, Inc (US)
    • Rivertop Renewables (US)
    • Verenium Corporation (US)
    • Virent Energy Systems, Inc (US)
    • ZeaChem, Inc (US)

Future trends and market opportunities

  • Summary
  • Introduction
  • Renewable chemicals in a biobased economy
  • Future market participants
  • Future geographic trends
  • Feedstock developments
    • Emergence of alternative feedstocks
    • Improved feedstock efficiency
  • Elimination of waste
  • Chemical engineering developments
    • Alternative solvents
    • Alternative energy sources
    • Improved catalysts
  • Development of phase III biorefineries
    • Chempolis, Finland
    • Gen-X Energy Group Inc, US


  • Scope
  • Methodology
  • Glossary/Abbreviations
  • Bibliography
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