"A new market report sheds light on the current and future market situation of the previously acclaimed promising bio-based building blocks."
Levulinic is selected twice as promising bio-based building blocks for the chemical industry. While a strong hype pushed exaggerated market expectations for levulinic acid developed in secret.
The report on “Levulinic acid - A versatile platform chemical for a variety of market applications - Global market dynamics, demand/supply, trends and market potential” clearly shows that production technology and market demand of levulinic acid has not yet developed according to previous expectations. The promised low-cost direct production from biomass is still under development, leaving room for several possibilities of further development. The market report discusses the future development under proper technological conditions.
Levulinic acid is bearing two different reactive functional groups making it a versatile intermediate for the synthesis of a large number of derivatives.
Its versatility and potential low production cost when produced directly from biomass are the reasons for the Department of Energy (DoE, USA) to select levulinic acid as one of the most promising bio-based building blocks for the fuel and chemical industries in 2004 and in 2010.
However, the production technology and market demand of levulinic acid has not yet developed according to previous expectations. Its direct production from biomass is still under development, being the current production mainly based on furfuryl alcohol, which makes it rather expensive.
Direct production of levulinic acid from biomass has the potential to reduce production costs significantly, which is expected to create additional demand for all current market segments. Apart from that, it is expected that new market segments will open due to the potential of its derivatives, specially and among others: levulinic esters, methyltetrahydrofuran (MTHF), γ-valerolactone (GVL), diphenolic acid (DPA), oligomers for transport fuels and levulinic acid derived ketals.
For those markets, a driver for change will be a combination of additional performance and price. Product availability and security of supply are also important decision factors for change.
When taking into account that time is needed for product development, market introduction and up-scaling of production, a doubling of market demand in five years is carefully estimated, provided that the production technology from biomass is in place.
Table of Contents
1. Executive summary
2. Feedstock and technology for levulinic acid and its derivatives
- 2.1. Levulinic acid
- 2.1.1. Levulinic acid production from C5 sugars and furfuryl alcohol
- 2.1.1. Levulinic acid production from C6 sugars and biomass
- 2.1.2. Technical challenges in the production of levulinic acid
- 2.2. Production of levulinic acid derivatives
- 2.2.1. 5-Aminolevulinic acid (DALA)
- 2.2.2. Diphenolic acid (DPA)
- 2.2.3. Levulinate ketal
- 2.2.4. Levulinic esters
- 2.2.5. 5-Methyl-2-pyrrolidone
- 2.2.6. Succinic acid
- 2.2.7. g-Valerolactone (GVL)
3. Levulinic acid price and market demand
- 3.1. Current levulinic acid production and market price
- 3.2. Current levulinic acid market demand
- 3.2.1. Pharma
- 3.2.2. Personal Care
- 3.2.3. Flavours & Fragrances
- 3.2.4. Resins & Coatings
- 3.2.5. Agriculture
- 3.2.6. Plasticizers
- 3.2.7. Others
- 3.3. Current and potential market demand forecast of levulinic acid market segments
4. Market potential for new levulinic acid derivatives
- 4.1. Levulinic esters
- 4.2. Methyltetrahydrofuran (MTHF)
- 4.3. g-Valerolactone (GVL)
- 4.4. Oligomers for transport fuels
- 4.5. Levulinic acid derived ketals
- 4.5.1. Solvent markets for levulinic acid derived ketals
- 188.8.131.52. Agrochemicals: Adjuvants
- 184.108.40.206. Personal care & Cosmetics
- 220.127.116.11. Coatings & Adhesive: Dichloromethane
- 18.104.22.168. Cleaners
- 22.214.171.124. Flavours & Fragrances: Fixatives
- 4.5.2. Plasticizers
- 4.6. Summary: Market potential of levulinic acid and its derivatives
5. Levulinic acid value chain