CAGR of the global green chemicals market (2019-2023)
Global projected value of the green chemicals market (2030)
Prescient & Strategic Intelligence Private Limited
Projected value of the global bioplastics market (2026)
Fortune Business Insights
Towards greener chemistry
The chemical and petrochemical industries have been facing structural and economic upheavals for the past years. This is linked to the development of bedrock gas in the United States, but also to climate change and pressure from consumers and governments to deeply modify resource production. We've seen strong strategic commitments from large groups to shift towards more sustainable practices and cleantech, especially in the industrial world. Startups are also emerging in this space, but face complex technical developments and struggle in finding viable business models.
Green chemistry encompasses use cases for the whole value chain: from production to recycling
Green chemistry can be applied across a product’s lifecycle. As such, there are many market opportunities for startups:
1) The use of plant-based resources as an alternative to fossil fuels and chemicals. Applications here are broad: food, energy, automotive, construction, chemistry. Molecule types are more or less complex: API, additives, monomers, polymers, etc.
2) The development of new processes that use less inputs, innovative inputs, novel processes...
3) The use of green energy to decarbonize industries (e.g. green hydrogen)
The bioalcohols and bioplastics categories are expected to generate the highest revenue for green chemical manufacturers.
Overall, awareness of the market is growing. Decarbonization actions are present in most projects. Whether it be for R&D, funding, partnerships or strategy changes, the goal is to reduce one’s impact by using alternative energy sources, often by using byproducts.
Strong collaboration between cleantech startups and large groups are key to scale technologies
Green chemistry and cleantech startups develop cutting-edge technologies, often spun out from universities. By collaborating with startups, large groups can shorten R&D lifecycles and support the startups' scaling. Indeed, scaling a project/technology can be quite complex in the chemical industry and startups struggle to overcome industrialisation challenges. Startups often cannot find a viable business model, thus, startups are turning to corporates for research and production collaborations, as well as to invest, accelerate industrialisation and facilitate access to market.
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