Platform chemicals are foundation blocks for the formation of various other compounds and chemicals. It is a petro-chemical and many derivates are derived from these platform chemicals. Over the past decades, corporate and chemical industries have shifted from the petrochemical industry towards bio-based chemical industries. The drivers for the shift attributes to growing awareness towards environmental protection, depletion of coal resources, health related renewability and recyclability. The advent of bio- refineries has been very important for the development of bio-chemical industry. There are various chemicals that are produced from biomass. These bio- based chemicals will significantly reduce carbon footprints and foster in creating a sustainable society. Platform chemicals produced from bio-mass include propane- and butanediols, carboxylic acids, short chain olefins, isoprene, and ethanol; amino acids, 1,4-diacids, Glycerol, Glutamic Acid and Itaconic Acid. These bio- based platform chemicals are used in plastic industries, pharmaceuticals, personal care and food and beverage industries. Among these platform chemicals, bio- glycerol is the fastest growing due to its applicability in all the above- mentioned industries. Petrochemical markets are facing stringent regulations from government authorities and the pressure to use and produce bio- based platform chemicals are increasing in a rate much higher than that of petrochemical industry.
In the European market, the countries which hold the leading market shares are Germany, Russia, UK, France, and Italy. The major players in the bio-based platform chemical industry are BASF, Cargill, DSM, PTT Global Chemical Public Company, Succinity GmbH, BioAmber, Myriant, Novozymes and INEOS. Different companies based on their geographical area use specific strategies and the leading players here have secured a large market share by strategic acquisitions. But specifically, in the European market, the successful strategy has been consistent innovation and technological adaptions to cope with the competition.
A key development in the industry in 2017 includes BioAmber buying the bio-based succinic acid plant, which is located in Sarnia in Canada, as part of a joint venture with Mitsui. Past trends have observed competitiveness through mergers and acquisitions and frequent innovation as the habits of successful companies in this industry. Availability of feedstock, increasing government initiatives to use bio- based platform chemicals and stringent regulations for use of petrochemicals, political uncertainty in oil producing countries have all made it favourable for the bio- based platform chemical industry.
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Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications