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BIO-MATERIALS & INTERMEDIATES

Sustainability is good for business. We provide the business intelligence you can use to forge a path to a more sustainable future by using renewable carbons and circular solutions.

Companies with the highest environmental, social and governance scores have seen above-average growth over the past five years. 

Tecnon OrbiChem can help senior management level personnel, including procurement managers and business segment managers make timely, well-informed decisions based on reliable and accurate data and analysis of key factors shaping the bio-materials markets on a monthly basis.

Tecnon OrbiChem can help customers within the chemical supply chain to incorporate sustainability in their long-term strategy by tapping into new business opportunities created by the sustainability trend, identify technologies that could improve business opportunities and assess the economic viability of renewable carbon-based chemicals and products that will be suitable for their business portfolio.

Tecnon OrbiChem provides detailed and comprehensive coverage of the global bio-material markets, prices, developments and commercialisation of chemicals, polymers, and materials derived from renewable carbon, alongside that for their petrochemical equivalents or competitors.

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red-down-arrowEthylene Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chem-Netfacts price-forecasts Global-Chemical-Data Consulting

Ethylene is one of the major chemical building blocks and the largest of the olefins (by sales volume). Its main use is as the monomer for various forms of polyethylene. Ethylene is produced by steam cracking, predominantly of naphtha in Europe and Asia, and of ethane in North America and the Middle East. Co-products are propylene and a C4 stream containing butadiene. Ethylene is also used to produce vinyl acetate and as a co-monomer in other types of resin. Although propylene is growing in importance, the demands of the ethylene market still mainly drive the operation of steam crackers.

red-down-arrowEthanol Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chem-Netfacts price-forecasts Global-Chemical-Data Consulting

Ethanol, also known as ethyl alcohol, has the chemical formula CH3CH2OH. Ethanol is a versatile solvent, miscible with water and with many organic solvents. Ethanol is also used to produce vinegar, alcoholic beverages and has medical applications as an antiseptic and a component of drug formulas. Ethanol for fuel is by far the most important end use segment. Ethanol is produced both as a petrochemical, through the hydration of ethylene and, via biological processes, by fermentation of plant materials (e.g. barley, rice, corn and sugarcane).

red-down-arrowMonoethylene Glycol Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chem-Netfacts price-forecasts Global-Chemical-Data Consulting

Monoethylene glycol (MEG) is a chemical intermediate produced from ethylene oxide (EO). Its main use is as a feedstock for polyester condensate in conjunction with PTA and DMT. The other main use is in antifreeze/coolant blends. Most production processes give by-products di-ethylene glycol (DEG) and tri-ethylene glycol (TEG).

red-down-arrowPET Packaging Resin Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chem-Netfacts price-forecasts Global-Chemical-Data Consulting

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) packaging resin is produced by reacting monoethylene glycol (MEG) with either terephthalic acid (TPA) or dimethyl terephthalate (DMT). The resultant monomer is heated under low vacuum pressure to form long chains of PET polymer. It is a clear, strong and lightweight packaging material that can be extruded or moulded into bottles and containers for drinks, food and household products. Post-consumer PET bottles are increasingly recycled to produce polyester staple fibre, packaging and bottles.

red-down-arrowAdipic Acid Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chem-Netfacts price-forecasts Global-Chemical-Data Consulting

Adipic acid is a chemical intermediate used in the production of nylon 66 resin and nylon 66 fibre or in polyol and polyurethane production. By far the largest demand is in nylon 66 production for both fibre and resin, whilst the remainder is consumed in non-nylon applications including polyurethanes. It is produced by oxidising cyclohexane to cyclohexanol and cyclohexanone, generally with a catalyst, and then the products are reacted with nitric acid to form adipic acid.

red-down-arrowSebacic Acid Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chem-Netfacts price-forecasts Global-Chemical-Data Consulting

Sebacic acid is a dicarboxylic acid with the structure (HOOC)(CH2)8(COOH). It has a melting point of 131-134°C and is supplied as a white granule or powdered crystal. Sebacic acid is the diacid monomer used for the manufacture of nylon 6,10, a plastic widely used in everyday household items such as toothbrush bristles and fishing line. The sebacates of various oxo and straight-chain alcohols are important plasticisers. Moreover, sebacic esters are used as components of lubricating oils and as diluents. Other applications of sebacic acid include use as an intermediate for aromatics, antiseptics and painting materials, as well as use as a corrosion inhibitor in metalworking fluids. Sebacic acid is primarily produced from castor oil, which is obtained from castor beans through mechanical pressing.

red-down-arrown-Butanol Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chem-Netfacts price-forecasts Global-Chemical-Data Consulting

n-Butanol/iso-butanol (often in roughly a 4:1 ratio) are usually produced in a plant with 2-ethylhexanol by applying the oxo reaction to propylene to produce butyraldehyde. n-Butanol is the more commercially important product, significant outlets are acrylates, glycol ethers and acetates.

red-down-arrowAcetone Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chem-Netfacts price-forecasts Global-Chemical-Data Consulting

Acetone is primarily used as a chemical intermediate and as a solvent. As a chemical intermediate acetone is used to produce bisphenol A, methyl methacrylate (MMA) and MIBK, as well as diacetone alcohol (DAA) and hexylene glycol. As a solvent, acetone is used for acetylene storage, varnishes, lacquers, printing inks, adhesives and cellulose resins.

red-down-arrowEpichlorohydrin Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chem-Netfacts price-forecasts Global-Chemical-Data Consulting

Epichlorohydrin (ECH) is a chlor-epoxide that is essentially based on the reaction of chlorine with propylene through a number of reaction steps: it may be regarded as being similar to propylene oxide with the addition of a reactive chlorine site. The two routes to ECH are via allyl chloride and allyl alcohol: allyl chloride is by far the main route. ECH is used mainly (70%) in the production of epoxy resins and also in the manufacture of synthetic glycerine and cationic polymers and starches.

red-down-arrow1,4-Butanediol Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chem-Netfacts price-forecasts Global-Chemical-Data Consulting

1,4 Butanediol, commonly known as BDO, is a chemical intermediate that was originally obtained though reaction of acetylene with formaldehyde, known as the Reppe process. Other popular technologies use butane/maleic anhydride, propylene oxide and butadiene as feedstocks. In recent years bio-based BDO production technology has been developed as an alternative to the traditional raw materials. BDO is used in polyurethane production via tetrahydrofuran (THF) which is used to make polytetramethylene ether glycol (PTMEG) which is used in spandex production. Its other major downstream market is polybutadiene terephthalate (PBT), a thermoplastic polyester used in the production of engineering materials.

red-down-arrowSuccinic Acid Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chem-Netfacts price-forecasts Global-Chemical-Data Consulting

Succinic acid is a dicarboxylic acid currently produced either from conversion of petroleum-derived maleic anhydride or from bacterial fermentation of carbohydrates. Historically, the high cost of producing succinic acid from petroleum feedstock limited its use to a narrow range of applications such as pharmaceuticals and food ingredients. The growing availability of biobased succinic acid is opening applications such as plasticizers, polyurethanes, personal care products, deicing solutions, resins and coatings, lubricants, and as a building block for a number of chemical intermediates. Succinic acid can be used to produce 1,4 butanediol (BDO), tetrahydrofuran (THF) and polybutylene succinate (PBS) biodegradable resins.

red-down-arrowPolybutylene Succinate Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chem-Netfacts price-forecasts Global-Chemical-Data Consulting

Polybutylene succinate (PBS) is a biodegradable plastic used in applications such as packaging for food and consumer electronics, tableware, agriculture mulch films and civil engineering materials. Due to its aliphatic nature, the hydrolysable ester bonds within its structure are relatively accessible for microbial degradation. PBS homopolymer is made from the condensation of succinic acid and 1,4-butanediol.

red-down-arrowPolyether Polyols Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chem-Netfacts price-forecasts Global-Chemical-Data Consulting

Polyether polyols together with isocyanates are essential precursors in the manufacture of polyurethanes. Although the highly reactive isocyanate group is the unique feature of polyurethane technology, it is the polyols that in large part determine the properties of the final polyurethane polymer. Polyether polyols are hydroxyl-functional polymers usually made from the reaction of PO and or EO with an initiator. There are various kinds of polyols, but polyether polyols account for the lion’s share of the polyol market. Rigid polyols are reacted with MDI to make rigid foam, and flexible polyols are reacted with TDI to make flexible foam.

red-down-arrowPolyester Polyols Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chem-Netfacts price-forecasts Global-Chemical-Data Consulting

Polyester polyols are produced by the condensation of a glycol and a dicarboxylic acid or acid derivative. The three general types of polyester polyols are manufactured from aliphatic diacids, aromatic diacids or caprolactone. Raw materials include phthalic anhydride and adipic acid. The functionality, structure and molecular weight of the polyester polyol differ depending on the type of polyurethane application. In some applications, polyester polyols compete with polyether polyols. Uses include rigid foam for use in the construction/insulation market and performance coatings, elastomers and flexible foams.

red-down-arrowFatty Acids Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chem-Netfacts price-forecasts Global-Chemical-Data Consulting

Fatty acid is a carboxylic acid usually derived naturally from animal fats and vegetable oils. Fatty acids commonly exist in combination with glycerol. Hydrolysis is the basic production step for splitting crude glycerol from a mixture of crude fatty acids, which are then separated further into a more specific chain length using fractional distillation. Major end use for fatty acids includes the manufacture of soaps, detergents and surfactants. Other applications, among others, include plasticizers, lubricants, as cosmetic raw material, in food ingredients, and in the manufacture and compounding of natural and synthetic rubbers.

red-down-arrowFatty Alcohols Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chem-Netfacts price-forecasts Global-Chemical-Data Consulting

The majority of fatty alcohols are manufactured by hydrogenation of fatty acids or fatty acid methyl esters. However, they can be produced synthetically using ethylene or n-paraffins for feedstock. Fatty alcohols are then further subjected to various processes such as sulfation, ethoxylation, amination, and phosphatization. Fatty alcohol can be fractionated to separate the C8-C10 fraction known as plasticizer range alcohol, and the C12-C18 known as the detergent range alcohol. The greatest application of fatty alcohol is in the manufacture of surfactants for laundry detergent products, shampoos, dishwashing liquids and cleaners. The C12-C14 alcohol finds application as lubricant additives and in the formulation of bearing and hydraulic oils.

red-down-arrowGlycerine Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chem-Netfacts price-forecasts Global-Chemical-Data Consulting

Glycerine, also called glycerol, is a tribasic alcohol mostly occuring naturally with fatty acid in the form of triglycerides. It can be produced as a by-product in soap and fatty acid manufacture or as a by-product of biodiesel production via the transesterification of fats and oils into methyl esters. Glycerol can also be manufactured synthetically by various routes from propylene. Uses of glycerol are numerous ranging from cosmetics and personal care, to food products and industrial applications such as in plasticizers, lubricants, explosives, pharmaceutical, resins and in polyurethane manufacture. Glycerol is increasingly being developed and used as a building block in the manufacture of intermediates such as epichlorohydrin, propylene glycol, acrylic acid, among others.

red-down-arrowPolylactic Acid Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chem-Netfacts price-forecasts Global-Chemical-Data Consulting

Polylactic acid (PLA) is a thermoplastic aliphatic polyester derived from renewable resources such as corn, sugarcane or cassava. PLA homopolymers have a glass-transition and a melting point of about 55°C and 175°C, respectively. PLA is one of the most common bioplastics in use today. PLA is usually produced by chemical synthesis from bio-derived lactic acid monomers.

red-down-arrowViscose Fibres Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chem-Netfacts price-forecasts Global-Chemical-Data Consulting

Viscose fibre is spun from cellulose. Viscose filament is mainly used in lining fabrics, dresses and blouses and velvets but also has industrial uses in tyre cord and other products. Viscose staple is spun into viscose and viscose blend yarns which are used in clothing and furnishings. It is also widely used in various non woven products. Recently staple use in non-wovens has been boosted by the rapid growth of non-woven wipes products because of its softness and absorbency.

red-down-arrowCrude Palm Oil Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chem-Netfacts price-forecasts Global-Chemical-Data Consulting

Crude Palm Oil is a widely traded vegetable oil comparable to soybean oil. It is obtained from the fruit of the oil palm tree through pressure extraction as well as solvent extraction. It contains very high amount of saturated fats like coconut oil. Triglyceride content is 94-97%. Major producers of crude palm oil include Malaysia and Indonesia. It is mostly used as cooking oil. Industrial uses include biodiesel and production of soaps and fatty acids.

red-down-arrowDextrose Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chem-Netfacts price-forecasts Global-Chemical-Data Consulting

Dextrose is a simple sugar also called D-glucose obtained from starch through hydrolysis. The corn industry produces many types of syrups that are identified by reference to the dextrose equivalence (DE) value. Crystalline dextrose is quite pure and finds many food and industrial uses. Liquid dextrose applications are generally used for fermentation and in the production of enzymes.

red-down-arrowPalm Fatty Acid Distillate Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chem-Netfacts price-forecasts Global-Chemical-Data Consulting

Palm Fatty Distillate (PFAD) is a lower-value by-product from refining crude palm oil. It is used in soap industries, animal feed industries and as raw materials for oleochemical industries. It is also considered a potential raw material for biodiesel production. The main component of of PFAD is free fatty acids, which are oleic, stearic and palmitic. Because of its impurities, its quality is less stable and it needs short storage.

red-down-arrowRapeseed Oil Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chem-Netfacts price-forecasts Global-Chemical-Data Consulting

Rapeseed Oil for food use is obtained by pressure extraction from rapeseed oilseed. For industrial use, rapeseed oil is recovered using solvent extraction from the residues of the pressure extraction. High erucic rapeseed contains at least 45% of erucic acid in the oil. Primary market for these high erucic oils is production of erucamide, which is used in the manufacture of plastic films. Another industrial use of rapeseed is the production of biofuels and oleochemicals.

red-down-arrowRBD Palm Oil Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chem-Netfacts price-forecasts Global-Chemical-Data Consulting

RBD Palm Oil is refined, bleached and deodorized palm oil obtained from refining crude palm oil. It is used as frying oil for food industries and also in the manufacture of margarine, shortening, other dairy products and soap. See further definition of Crude Palm Oil.

red-down-arrowRBD Palm Olein Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chem-Netfacts price-forecasts Global-Chemical-Data Consulting

RBD Palm Olein is refined, bleached and deodorized liquid component of a fractionated palm oil. The main component of olein is oleic acid. Oleines and its derivatives are used in the formulation of cosmetics, detergents and lubricants, and in the production of intermediates such as surfactants, solvents and fine chemicals.

red-down-arrowRBD Palm Stearine Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chem-Netfacts price-forecasts Global-Chemical-Data Consulting

RBD Palm Stearine is refined, bleached and deodorized solid component of a fractionated refined palm oil. Technically, stearine is a mixture of stearic and palmitic acid although the main component is stearic acid. Stearines are used in the production of candles, soaps, rubber compounds, food ingredients, fabric softeners and cosmetics. Long-chain stearines contain a proportion of higher chain acids; this enhances important properties such as lubricity, oil solubility and water-resistance.

red-down-arrowSoybean Oil Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chem-Netfacts price-forecasts Global-Chemical-Data Consulting

Soybean Oil is a widely traded vegetable oil across the world and is used mainly for food. It is also used in biodiesel production. Crude soybean oil consist typically of 96% triglycerides, 2% phospholipids, 1.6% unsaponifiables, and 0.5% free fatty acids. The fatty acid composition of soybean oil depends on the variety and growing conditions. Unsaturated fatty acids account for over 80% in soybean oil. Soybean oil is obtained by solvent extraction from soybeans.

red-down-arrowTallow Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chem-Netfacts price-forecasts Global-Chemical-Data Consulting

Tallow is obtained from animal tissue containing fat through a process called rendering. Like vegetable oil, tallow is a triglyceride. For industrial applications, tallow can be used to produce biodiesel, soap and fatty acids. The US and European oleochemical industry are big consumers of industrial tallow product.

red-down-arrowCoconut Oil Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chem-Netfacts price-forecasts Global-Chemical-Data Consulting

Coconut Oil is extracted from the kernel or meat of matured coconuts. It is used in a variety of applications ranging from food use to industrial use such as manufacture of soap, fatty acids and biodiesel. Lauric acid, a 12-carbon chain fatty acid, is often removed during fractionation of coconut oil because of its high value as industrial fatty acid product.

red-down-arrowCorn Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chem-Netfacts price-forecasts Global-Chemical-Data Consulting

Corn is the largest component of global coarse grain trade and is processed into a multitude of applications such as for food via dry milling process and industrial products via wet milling process that include starch, sweeteners, corn oil, beverage, industrial alcohol and fuel ethanol. Due to technology advances, industrial use of corn has constantly been growing especially through the use of fermentation technology in the production of chemicals.

red-down-arrowCorn Starch Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chemical-Business-Focus Chem-Netfacts price-forecasts Global-Chemical-Data Consulting

Corn Starch is the carbohydrate polymer accounting for about 80% of the total weight of a corn kernel. It is produced through a corn wet milling process. Many industrial products are increasingly being synthesized from starch or cellulosic feedstocks such as in the production of biodegradable plastics because of the excellent chemical composition of starch. Other industrial applications include super absorbent polymers (SAPs), adhesives and binders, as flocculating agents, anticaking agents, and as ingredients in personal care products.

Ethylene
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Ethylene is one of the major chemical building blocks and the largest of the olefins (by sales volume). Its main use is as the monomer for various forms of polyethylene. Ethylene is produced by steam cracking, predominantly of naphtha in Europe and Asia, and of ethane in North America and the Middle East. Co-products are propylene and a C4 stream containing butadiene. Ethylene is also used to produce vinyl acetate and as a co-monomer in other types of resin. Although propylene is growing in importance, the demands of the ethylene market still mainly drive the operation of steam crackers.

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Ethanol
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Ethanol, also known as ethyl alcohol, has the chemical formula CH3CH2OH. Ethanol is a versatile solvent, miscible with water and with many organic solvents. Ethanol is also used to produce vinegar, alcoholic beverages and has medical applications as an antiseptic and a component of drug formulas. Ethanol for fuel is by far the most important end use segment. Ethanol is produced both as a petrochemical, through the hydration of ethylene and, via biological processes, by fermentation of plant materials (e.g. barley, rice, corn and sugarcane).

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Monoethylene Glycol
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Monoethylene glycol (MEG) is a chemical intermediate produced from ethylene oxide (EO). Its main use is as a feedstock for polyester condensate in conjunction with PTA and DMT. The other main use is in antifreeze/coolant blends. Most production processes give by-products di-ethylene glycol (DEG) and tri-ethylene glycol (TEG).

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PET Packaging Resin
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Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) packaging resin is produced by reacting monoethylene glycol (MEG) with either terephthalic acid (TPA) or dimethyl terephthalate (DMT). The resultant monomer is heated under low vacuum pressure to form long chains of PET polymer. It is a clear, strong and lightweight packaging material that can be extruded or moulded into bottles and containers for drinks, food and household products. Post-consumer PET bottles are increasingly recycled to produce polyester staple fibre, packaging and bottles.

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Adipic Acid
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Adipic acid is a chemical intermediate used in the production of nylon 66 resin and nylon 66 fibre or in polyol and polyurethane production. By far the largest demand is in nylon 66 production for both fibre and resin, whilst the remainder is consumed in non-nylon applications including polyurethanes. It is produced by oxidising cyclohexane to cyclohexanol and cyclohexanone, generally with a catalyst, and then the products are reacted with nitric acid to form adipic acid.

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Sebacic Acid
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Sebacic acid is a dicarboxylic acid with the structure (HOOC)(CH2)8(COOH). It has a melting point of 131-134°C and is supplied as a white granule or powdered crystal. Sebacic acid is the diacid monomer used for the manufacture of nylon 6,10, a plastic widely used in everyday household items such as toothbrush bristles and fishing line. The sebacates of various oxo and straight-chain alcohols are important plasticisers. Moreover, sebacic esters are used as components of lubricating oils and as diluents. Other applications of sebacic acid include use as an intermediate for aromatics, antiseptics and painting materials, as well as use as a corrosion inhibitor in metalworking fluids. Sebacic acid is primarily produced from castor oil, which is obtained from castor beans through mechanical pressing.

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n-Butanol
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n-Butanol/iso-butanol (often in roughly a 4:1 ratio) are usually produced in a plant with 2-ethylhexanol by applying the oxo reaction to propylene to produce butyraldehyde. n-Butanol is the more commercially important product, significant outlets are acrylates, glycol ethers and acetates.

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Acetone
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Acetone is primarily used as a chemical intermediate and as a solvent. As a chemical intermediate acetone is used to produce bisphenol A, methyl methacrylate (MMA) and MIBK, as well as diacetone alcohol (DAA) and hexylene glycol. As a solvent, acetone is used for acetylene storage, varnishes, lacquers, printing inks, adhesives and cellulose resins.

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Epichlorohydrin
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Epichlorohydrin (ECH) is a chlor-epoxide that is essentially based on the reaction of chlorine with propylene through a number of reaction steps: it may be regarded as being similar to propylene oxide with the addition of a reactive chlorine site. The two routes to ECH are via allyl chloride and allyl alcohol: allyl chloride is by far the main route. ECH is used mainly (70%) in the production of epoxy resins and also in the manufacture of synthetic glycerine and cationic polymers and starches.

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1,4-Butanediol
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1,4 Butanediol, commonly known as BDO, is a chemical intermediate that was originally obtained though reaction of acetylene with formaldehyde, known as the Reppe process. Other popular technologies use butane/maleic anhydride, propylene oxide and butadiene as feedstocks. In recent years bio-based BDO production technology has been developed as an alternative to the traditional raw materials. BDO is used in polyurethane production via tetrahydrofuran (THF) which is used to make polytetramethylene ether glycol (PTMEG) which is used in spandex production. Its other major downstream market is polybutadiene terephthalate (PBT), a thermoplastic polyester used in the production of engineering materials.

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Succinic Acid
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Succinic acid is a dicarboxylic acid currently produced either from conversion of petroleum-derived maleic anhydride or from bacterial fermentation of carbohydrates. Historically, the high cost of producing succinic acid from petroleum feedstock limited its use to a narrow range of applications such as pharmaceuticals and food ingredients. The growing availability of biobased succinic acid is opening applications such as plasticizers, polyurethanes, personal care products, deicing solutions, resins and coatings, lubricants, and as a building block for a number of chemical intermediates. Succinic acid can be used to produce 1,4 butanediol (BDO), tetrahydrofuran (THF) and polybutylene succinate (PBS) biodegradable resins.

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Polybutylene Succinate
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Polybutylene succinate (PBS) is a biodegradable plastic used in applications such as packaging for food and consumer electronics, tableware, agriculture mulch films and civil engineering materials. Due to its aliphatic nature, the hydrolysable ester bonds within its structure are relatively accessible for microbial degradation. PBS homopolymer is made from the condensation of succinic acid and 1,4-butanediol.

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Polyether Polyols
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Polyether polyols together with isocyanates are essential precursors in the manufacture of polyurethanes. Although the highly reactive isocyanate group is the unique feature of polyurethane technology, it is the polyols that in large part determine the properties of the final polyurethane polymer. Polyether polyols are hydroxyl-functional polymers usually made from the reaction of PO and or EO with an initiator. There are various kinds of polyols, but polyether polyols account for the lion’s share of the polyol market. Rigid polyols are reacted with MDI to make rigid foam, and flexible polyols are reacted with TDI to make flexible foam.

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Polyester Polyols
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Polyester polyols are produced by the condensation of a glycol and a dicarboxylic acid or acid derivative. The three general types of polyester polyols are manufactured from aliphatic diacids, aromatic diacids or caprolactone. Raw materials include phthalic anhydride and adipic acid. The functionality, structure and molecular weight of the polyester polyol differ depending on the type of polyurethane application. In some applications, polyester polyols compete with polyether polyols. Uses include rigid foam for use in the construction/insulation market and performance coatings, elastomers and flexible foams.

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Fatty Acids
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Fatty acid is a carboxylic acid usually derived naturally from animal fats and vegetable oils. Fatty acids commonly exist in combination with glycerol. Hydrolysis is the basic production step for splitting crude glycerol from a mixture of crude fatty acids, which are then separated further into a more specific chain length using fractional distillation. Major end use for fatty acids includes the manufacture of soaps, detergents and surfactants. Other applications, among others, include plasticizers, lubricants, as cosmetic raw material, in food ingredients, and in the manufacture and compounding of natural and synthetic rubbers.

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Fatty Alcohols
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The majority of fatty alcohols are manufactured by hydrogenation of fatty acids or fatty acid methyl esters. However, they can be produced synthetically using ethylene or n-paraffins for feedstock. Fatty alcohols are then further subjected to various processes such as sulfation, ethoxylation, amination, and phosphatization. Fatty alcohol can be fractionated to separate the C8-C10 fraction known as plasticizer range alcohol, and the C12-C18 known as the detergent range alcohol. The greatest application of fatty alcohol is in the manufacture of surfactants for laundry detergent products, shampoos, dishwashing liquids and cleaners. The C12-C14 alcohol finds application as lubricant additives and in the formulation of bearing and hydraulic oils.

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Glycerine
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Glycerine, also called glycerol, is a tribasic alcohol mostly occuring naturally with fatty acid in the form of triglycerides. It can be produced as a by-product in soap and fatty acid manufacture or as a by-product of biodiesel production via the transesterification of fats and oils into methyl esters. Glycerol can also be manufactured synthetically by various routes from propylene. Uses of glycerol are numerous ranging from cosmetics and personal care, to food products and industrial applications such as in plasticizers, lubricants, explosives, pharmaceutical, resins and in polyurethane manufacture. Glycerol is increasingly being developed and used as a building block in the manufacture of intermediates such as epichlorohydrin, propylene glycol, acrylic acid, among others.

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Polylactic Acid
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Polylactic acid (PLA) is a thermoplastic aliphatic polyester derived from renewable resources such as corn, sugarcane or cassava. PLA homopolymers have a glass-transition and a melting point of about 55°C and 175°C, respectively. PLA is one of the most common bioplastics in use today. PLA is usually produced by chemical synthesis from bio-derived lactic acid monomers.

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Viscose Fibres
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Viscose fibre is spun from cellulose. Viscose filament is mainly used in lining fabrics, dresses and blouses and velvets but also has industrial uses in tyre cord and other products. Viscose staple is spun into viscose and viscose blend yarns which are used in clothing and furnishings. It is also widely used in various non woven products. Recently staple use in non-wovens has been boosted by the rapid growth of non-woven wipes products because of its softness and absorbency.

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Crude Palm Oil
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Crude Palm Oil is a widely traded vegetable oil comparable to soybean oil. It is obtained from the fruit of the oil palm tree through pressure extraction as well as solvent extraction. It contains very high amount of saturated fats like coconut oil. Triglyceride content is 94-97%. Major producers of crude palm oil include Malaysia and Indonesia. It is mostly used as cooking oil. Industrial uses include biodiesel and production of soaps and fatty acids.

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Dextrose
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Dextrose is a simple sugar also called D-glucose obtained from starch through hydrolysis. The corn industry produces many types of syrups that are identified by reference to the dextrose equivalence (DE) value. Crystalline dextrose is quite pure and finds many food and industrial uses. Liquid dextrose applications are generally used for fermentation and in the production of enzymes.

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Palm Fatty Acid Distillate
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Palm Fatty Distillate (PFAD) is a lower-value by-product from refining crude palm oil. It is used in soap industries, animal feed industries and as raw materials for oleochemical industries. It is also considered a potential raw material for biodiesel production. The main component of of PFAD is free fatty acids, which are oleic, stearic and palmitic. Because of its impurities, its quality is less stable and it needs short storage.

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Rapeseed Oil
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Rapeseed Oil for food use is obtained by pressure extraction from rapeseed oilseed. For industrial use, rapeseed oil is recovered using solvent extraction from the residues of the pressure extraction. High erucic rapeseed contains at least 45% of erucic acid in the oil. Primary market for these high erucic oils is production of erucamide, which is used in the manufacture of plastic films. Another industrial use of rapeseed is the production of biofuels and oleochemicals.

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RBD Palm Oil
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RBD Palm Oil is refined, bleached and deodorized palm oil obtained from refining crude palm oil. It is used as frying oil for food industries and also in the manufacture of margarine, shortening, other dairy products and soap. See further definition of Crude Palm Oil.

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RBD Palm Olein
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RBD Palm Olein is refined, bleached and deodorized liquid component of a fractionated palm oil. The main component of olein is oleic acid. Oleines and its derivatives are used in the formulation of cosmetics, detergents and lubricants, and in the production of intermediates such as surfactants, solvents and fine chemicals.

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RBD Palm Stearine
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RBD Palm Stearine is refined, bleached and deodorized solid component of a fractionated refined palm oil. Technically, stearine is a mixture of stearic and palmitic acid although the main component is stearic acid. Stearines are used in the production of candles, soaps, rubber compounds, food ingredients, fabric softeners and cosmetics. Long-chain stearines contain a proportion of higher chain acids; this enhances important properties such as lubricity, oil solubility and water-resistance.

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Soybean Oil
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Soybean Oil is a widely traded vegetable oil across the world and is used mainly for food. It is also used in biodiesel production. Crude soybean oil consist typically of 96% triglycerides, 2% phospholipids, 1.6% unsaponifiables, and 0.5% free fatty acids. The fatty acid composition of soybean oil depends on the variety and growing conditions. Unsaturated fatty acids account for over 80% in soybean oil. Soybean oil is obtained by solvent extraction from soybeans.

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Tallow
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Tallow is obtained from animal tissue containing fat through a process called rendering. Like vegetable oil, tallow is a triglyceride. For industrial applications, tallow can be used to produce biodiesel, soap and fatty acids. The US and European oleochemical industry are big consumers of industrial tallow product.

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Coconut Oil
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Coconut Oil is extracted from the kernel or meat of matured coconuts. It is used in a variety of applications ranging from food use to industrial use such as manufacture of soap, fatty acids and biodiesel. Lauric acid, a 12-carbon chain fatty acid, is often removed during fractionation of coconut oil because of its high value as industrial fatty acid product.

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Corn
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Corn is the largest component of global coarse grain trade and is processed into a multitude of applications such as for food via dry milling process and industrial products via wet milling process that include starch, sweeteners, corn oil, beverage, industrial alcohol and fuel ethanol. Due to technology advances, industrial use of corn has constantly been growing especially through the use of fermentation technology in the production of chemicals.

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Corn Starch
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Corn Starch is the carbohydrate polymer accounting for about 80% of the total weight of a corn kernel. It is produced through a corn wet milling process. Many industrial products are increasingly being synthesized from starch or cellulosic feedstocks such as in the production of biodegradable plastics because of the excellent chemical composition of starch. Other industrial applications include super absorbent polymers (SAPs), adhesives and binders, as flocculating agents, anticaking agents, and as ingredients in personal care products.

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In addition, we profile every other month a comprehensive yet compact market summary for a particular chemical or material, providing independent comparison of various bio-based processes and their competitiveness with conventional petrochemical routes including current prices and capacity; and providing insights on the potential impact of new technology and business developments on the conventional petrochemical industry.

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AVAILABLE BIO-BASED CHEMICAL PROFILES 2013-2020

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  • 1,4 Butanediol (BDO)
  • 1,5 Pentanediamine (PDA)
  • 1,3 Propanediol (PDO)
  • 1,5-Hydroxymethylfurfural (5-HMF)
  • Acetic Acid
  • Acetone
  • Acrylamide
  • Acrylic Acid
  • Adipic Acid
  • Aminoundecanoic Acid
  • Azelaic Acid
  • Benzene, Toluene, Xylene (BTX)
  • Butadiene
  • Caprolactam
  • Cellulose Acetate
  • Crude Tall Oil (CTO)
  • Dodecanedioic Acid (DDDA)
  • Epoxy Resins
  • Epichlorohydrin (ECH)
  • Ethanol
  • Ethylene
  • Ethylene Oxide
  • Glucaric Acid
  • Glycerine
  • Farnesene
  • Fatty Acids
  • Fatty Alcohols
  • Furandicarboxylic Acid (FDCA)
  • Hexamethylene Diamine (HMDA)
  • Isobutanol
  • Isocyanate
  • Isoprene
  • Isosorbide/Sorbitol
  • Itaconic Acid
  • Lactic Acid
  • Levulinic Acid
  • Malonic Acid
  • Methanol
  • Methyl Methacrylate (MMA)
  • Monoethylene Glycol (MEG)
  • Monopropylene Glycol (MPG)
  • Naphtha
  • N-Butanol
  • Phenol
  • Polyamides
  • Polybutylene Adipate Terephthalate (PBAT)
  • Polybutylene Succinate (PBS)
  • Polybutylene Terephthalic Acid (PBT)
  • Polycarbonate
  • Polyethylene
  • Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)
  • Polyethylene Terephthalic Acid (PTA)
  • Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA)
  • Polylactic Acid (PLA)
  • Polyols
  • Polystyrene
  • Polytrimethylene Terephthalate (PTT)
  • Polyurethane
  • Propylene
  • Sebacic Acid
  • Succinic Acid
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