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Chemical Building Blocks from Renewables

Abstract

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Published: April 2014

Bio-based chemicals were very much in the spotlight in 2008, when crude oil prices soared and concerns about dwindling natural resources were widespread. The recent surge in shale gas and tight oil production has largely allayed those fears. Now chemical producers and their customers are asking if bio-based chemicals make economic or market sense in a world of abundant fossil fuel feedstocks.

The answer to that question depends on the specific chemical and end-use market. Newly abundant supplies of natural gas liquids have reenergized the ethylene industry. At the same time, supplies of some conventional feedstocks (C3, C4, C5 and pygas, co-products of steam cracking) have tightened as ethylene producers switch to lighter feedstocks. As a result, interest in sugars, glycerin and other plant-derived feedstocks remains strong.

This comprehensive report provides an objective and unbiased view of a wide range of bio-based chemicals and their prospects versus conventional chemicals (chemicals derived from natural gas, crude oil or coal). The emphasis is on near-commercial and commercial products, and will be of interest to strategic planners, market researchers, and business development managers in petrochemical companies, agribusinesses, biotech firms, consumer packaged goods companies, beverage and food companies, financial analysts, investment banks, and equity investors.

Table of Contents
  • Abbreviations
  • Summary
  • Overview of an Emerging Industry
    • Market Drivers
    • Environmental Impact
    • Industry Structure
    • Critical Issues
  • One-Carbon Building Blocks
    • Methanol
      • Developers of Bio-Based Methanol
      • Market Overview
      • Manufacturing Processes
      • Outlook
  • Two-Carbon Building Blocks
    • Ethylene
      • Producers and Developers of Bio-Based Ethylene
      • Market Overview
      • Manufacturing Processes
        • Bio-Based Ethylene
        • Conventional Ethylene
          • Steam Cracking of Ethane
          • Steam Cracking of Light Naphtha
    • Outlook
      • Bio-Based Polyethylene
      • Bio-Based PET
      • Bio-Based PVC
      • Impact of Ethanol Prices
  • Glycolic Acid
    • Developers of Bio-Based Glycolic Acid
    • Market Overview
    • Manufacturing Processes
    • Outlook
  • Three-Carbon Building Blocks
    • Propylene
      • Developers of Bio-Based Propylene
      • Market Overview
      • Manufacturing Processes
      • Outlook
  • Propylene Glycol
    • Producers and Developers of Bio-Based Propylene Glycol
    • Market Overview
    • Manufacturing Processes
      • Bio-Based Propylene Glycol
        • Propylene Glycol from Glycerin
        • Propylene Glycol from Sorbitol
    • Conventional Propylene Glycol
      • Propylene Oxide from Propylene
      • Propylene Glycol from Propylene Oxide
  • Outlook
    • 1,3-Propanediol
      • Producers and Developers of Bio-Based 1,3-Propanediol
      • Market Overview
      • Manufacturing Processes
        • Bio-Based 1,3-Propanediol
          • 1,3-Propanediol from Glucose
          • 1,3-Propanediol from Glycerin
      • Conventional 1,3-Propanediol
    • Outlook
      • Polyether Polyols
      • Polytrimethylene Terephthalate
      • Unsaturated Polyester Resins
      • Emollient Esters
    • Epichlorohydrin
      • Producers and Developers of Bio-Based Epichlorohydrin
      • Market Overview
      • Manufacturing Processes
        • Bio-Based Epichlorohydrin
        • Conventional Epichlorohydrin
      • Outlook
        • Lactic Acid
          • Producers of Bio-Based Lactic Acid
          • Market Overview
          • Manufacturing Processes
            • Bio-Based Lactic Acid
            • Lactic Acid from Fossil Fuels
        • Outlook
          • Acrylic Acid
            • Developers of Bio-Based Acrylic Acid
            • Market Overview
            • Manufacturing Processes
            • Outlook
              • Acetone
                • Producers and Developers of Bio-Based Acetone
                • Market Overview
                • Manufacturing Processes
                • Outlook
              • Four-Carbon Building Blocks
                • n-Butanol
                  • Producers and Developers of Bio-Based n-Butanol
                  • Market Overview
                  • Manufacturing Processes
                  • Outlook
                • Isobutanol
                  • Developers of Bio-Based Isobutanol
                  • Market Overview
                  • Manufacturing Processes
                  • Outlook
                    • Isobutylene
                      • Developers of Bio-Based Isobutylene
                      • Market Overview
                      • Manufacturing Processes
                      • Outlook
                        • Succinic Acid
                          • Developers of Bio-Based Succinic Acid
                          • Market Overview
                          • Manufacturing Processes
                            • Bio-Based Succinic Acid
                            • Conventional Succinic Acid
                          • Outlook
                        • PBS and PBSA
                        • Plasticizers and Polyester Polyols
                        • 1,4-Butanediol and Related Chemicals
                        • 1,4-Butanediol
                        • Developers of Bio-Based 1,4-Butanediol
                        • Market Overview
                        • Manufacturing Processes
                        • Outlook
                    • Five-Carbon Building Blocks
                      • Isoprene
                        • Developers of Bio-Based Isoprene
                        • Market Overview
                        • Manufacturing Processes
                        • Outlook
                  • Six-Carbon Building Blocks
                    • Adipic Acid and Other Nylon Intermediates
                      • Developers of Bio-Based Adipic Acid
                      • Market Overview
                      • Manufacturing Processes
                      • Outlook
                  • 2,5-Furandicarboxylic acid
                    • Developers of Bio-Based 2,5-Furandicarboxylic Acid
                    • Manufacturing Processes
                    • Outlook
                  • Glucaric acid
                    • Developers of Bio-Based Glucaric Acid
                    • Manufacturing Processes
                    • Outlook
                  • Sorbitol
                    • Market Overview
                    • Manufacturing Processes
                    • Outlook
                  • Isosorbide
                    • Developers of Bio-Based Isosorbide
                    • Manufacturing Processes
                    • Outlook
                  • Other Building Blocks
                    • para-Xylene
                      • Developers of Bio-Based para-Xylene
                      • Market Overview
                      • Manufacturing Processes
                      • Outlook
                  • Farnesene
                    • Developers of Bio-Based Farnesene
                    • Market Overview
                    • Manufacturing Processes
                    • Outlook
                      • Cosmetic Chemicals
                      • Flavor and Fragrance Ingredients
                      • Lubricant Base Oils
                      • Plastics Additives
                      • Surfactants
                      • Transportation Fuels
                  • Appendix I Top Value-Added Chemicals from Biomass
                  • Appendix II Corn Milling Processes
                    • Wet Milling Process
                    • Dry Milling Process
                  • Bibliography
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