2,3-Butanediol Market – Production to Move from Pilot Plants to Full-scale
The ~3% CAGR of the 2,3-butanediol market during 2019-2027 is emblematic of a nascent phase of the industry, which currently possesses narrow channels of commercialization. To infiltrate proper education regarding the use of this chemical as a precursor, manufacturers are making investments towards the development of pilot plants.
According to the research, the demand for 2,3-butanediol as a precursor to methyl ethyl ketone has significantly escalated post the approval of the FDA for its use as an indirect food additive. Future applications will highly rely on its effectiveness in solidifying coatings to control emissions during coating operations, which will surge the demand for 2,3-butanediol in Asia Pacific, on account of intensifying paint and coating activities in India and China. Given the future sales opportunities, manufacturers will scale up their production facilities to address the rising demand. Despite these success factors, manufacturers need to consider the high production cost, which directly passes on to the product price.
Manufacturers to Leverage Economical Means for Production of 2,3-Butanediol
Cost-reduction opportunities await market players as new production processes surface. Currently, this chemical is produced through industrial methods; however, manufacturers can note that, the microbiological production process can be reckoned as a cost-efficient and environmentally-benign alternative to traditional synthesis methods.
The study has also found significant improvements in microbial production, which can be achieved through the screening of natural microbial strains. The use of natural microbial strains will act as a twofer for attributing operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness to the final product.
As the world looks for products with natural origins, and is doing away with synthetic and petrochemical products, 2,3-butanediol produced through the fermentation process will hold promising opportunities in the pharmaceutical, fragrance, and food industries.
Some market majors also tend to leverage off-gases from numerous industries to achieve the economical production of this chemical, which has been illustrated by LanzaTech. The company entered into a partnership with Baosteel, a China-based steel company, to build a pilot plant demonstrating the conversion of industrial waste gas to 2,3-butanediol. Another significant player, Bio-Chem Technology Group, leverages the corn-based production technique to control overhead costs.
Innovation – The Essential Key to Survive in the 2,3-Butanediol Market
Addressing energy requirements without bypassing environmental concerns has necessitated the exploration of alternative energy sources, which has also taken 2,3-butanediol by storm. Its use as an intermediate chemical for the production of hydrocarbon fuels is projected to generate ~92% of the total revenue of the market by 2027.
Manufacturers are pushing their thinking abilities to make the best out of the waste produced by numerous industries to increase the production capacity of 2,3-butanediol. Besides experimenting with various sources for its production, manufacturers are also expending their efforts to broaden the scope of application.
For example, in Asia Pacific, 2,3-butanediol has been receiving special attention on account of its possible conversion into 1,3-butadiene that is used for manufacturing synthetic rubber. Given the volatility in rubber prices, tire makers in Japan and China are considering this chemical to enhance the affordability of their products.
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However, significant opportunities await manufacturers in Europe, as it launches the ‘Rehap’ project, which is aimed at strengthening the bio-economy of the region by developing novel materials from agricultural and forestry waste, and increasing their viability for commercialization.