Price stabilization of bioplastics expected in 2015

December 2, 2008

Producers and packaging associations claim improvements to cost, performance and moisture barrier properties of bioplastics as well as more investment in sorting technology to prevent contamination of recycling waste streams will enable the industry to compete more effectively with conventional plastics.

Bioplastics are a form of plastics derived from renewable biomass sources, such as vegetable oil, corn starch or pea starch. However, many are reliant on fossil fuel-derived energy for their manufacturing.

Christophe Doukhi de Boissoudy, president of the Club des Bioplastiques, told attendees at the conference section of the Emballage 2008 trade show that the development of bioplastics for food and drink packaging has been hindered due to the fact that they are costlier to produce than petroleum based plastics.

He predicts that with more investment in R&D to enable the fine tuning of bioplastics so ensure they become technologically and environmentally competitive this cost gap with petroleum-based plastics will be drastically reduced.

Doukhi de Boissoudy added that producers of bioplastic packaging are aiming for price stabilization by 2015.

Market predictions

Meanwhile, the BCC research group said that the market for biodegradable plastics, in terms of volume, reached 541 million lbs in 2007, and is expected to reach 1.2 billion lbs by 2012.

And market analysts, Freedonia, predicts that natural polymer demand will grow 7.1 per cent annually to $4bn in 2012, with expansion due in part to improved production technologies for materials such as PLA.

The group said that PLA will see significant growth in packaging areas such as thermoformed containers.

Non-food sources

Communication spokesperson for European Bioplastics, to Melanie Gentzik, told FoodProductionDaily.com that while bioplastics have no impact on the current food supply and availability situation, technical solutions to use mainly non-food crops in their manufacturer are under investigation or already in use.

She called for all parties involved in their production to support sustainable development of bioplastics, and to take into account that no raw material has unlimited availability and therefore the most efficient use of resources must be achieved.

“Bioplastics should be regarded as a solution to promote sustainable development and not as a threat to it,” said Gentzik.

Degradation

Most bioplastics will only degrade in the tightly controlled conditions of commercial composting units. An internationally agreed standard, EN13432, defines how quickly and to what extent a plastic must be degraded under commercial composting conditions for it to be called biodegradable.

There is no standard applicable to home composting conditions for bioplastics.

Italian bioplastic manufacturer Novamont said that that producing one kilogram of its starch-based product uses 500g of petroleum and consumes almost 80 per cent of the energy required to produce a traditional polyethylene polymer.

And environmental data from NatureWorks, manufacturer of PLA bioplastic, says that making its plastic material delivers a fossil fuel saving of between 25 and 68 per cent compared with polyethylene, in part due to its purchasing of renewable energy certificates for its manufacturing plant.

According to the company, its PLA can be physically recycled, composted through industrial processes, incinerated via waste to energy systems, and also chemically recycled back into its base monomer unit of lactic acid.¹

¹Jane Byrne, Food Production Daily

Bookmark and Share


U.S. Market for Alternative Chemical Products Worth $ 94.8 Billion by 2013

November 7, 2008

According to a new technical market research report, “Alternative Chemical Products and Processes”, from BCC Research, the U.S. market for alternative chemical products is expected to be worth $ 46.6 billion in 2008. This will increase to $ 94.8 billion in 2013, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.3%. The market is broken down by end-use alternative chemical products and includes plastics, packaging, cleaning and detergent products, miscellaneous specialty chemicals and other chemical products. Miscellaneous specialty chemicals have the largest share of the U.S. market and are expected to be worth $ 17.3 billion in 2008 and $ 35.5 billion in 2013, for a CAGR of 15.5%.¹

35496942_ce5e3666981

¹Process Worldwide-04-2008

read more | digg story

Bookmark and Share


Tax Credits for Renewable Energy Bode Well for U.S. Manufacturing

October 29, 2008

Mark Shortt
Editorial Director

All over the U.S., people are wondering aloud whether manufacturing that left our shores is now ready to come back. Factors like greater supply chain efficiency and intellectual property security, coupled with high shipping costs and the rising cost of labor overseas, have many believing that the pendulum may be swinging back in favor of manufacturing in the United States.

How this ultimately plays out remains to be seen, but there’s plenty of reason to be optimistic. Coupled with this is a golden opportunity to “take the bull by the horns” in another area. An excellent bet for rebuilding a strong manufacturing base in the states is to support the growth of emerging technologies targeted at high-growth areas like renewable energy (solar, wind, and geothermal power); fuel-efficient, hybrid, and all-electric vehicles; and cleantech sectors such as water desalination and purification. It’s an opportunity for America to become the leader in the manufacturing of parts and components necessary for renewable power-generating equipment and systems, as well as other systems that will be crucial to solving some of the planet’s biggest issues–such as clean water shortages–over the long term.

Many of the skilled workers formerly employed in industries that have lost jobs to overseas companies already have the skills required by a clean energy economy. These include sheet metal workers, welders, and machinists ready to ply their trade in an important growth industry.  And many of the domestic manufacturing plants formerly used for manufacturing parts that are now being outsourced overseas can be retooled for production of components needed in new energy technologies, like wind, solar, and geothermal.

As it turns out, American manufacturing for the wind power industry, in particular, has already gotten off to a pretty good start. On September 3, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) issued a statement announcing that U.S. wind industry installations had surpassed 20,000 megawatts (MW), achieving in two years what had previously taken more than two decades. According to AWEA, wind now provides 20,152 MW of electricity-generating capacity in the United States.  It is said to produce enough electricity to serve 5.3 million American homes or power a fleet of more than 1 million plug-in hybrid vehicles.

“Wind energy installations are well ahead of the curve for contributing 20% of the U.S. electric power supply by 2030 as envisioned by the U.S. Department of Energy,” said Randall Swisher, executive director of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), in the statement.

Earlier this year, AWEA reported an increase in the share of U.S.-made wind turbine components, from less than 30% to approximately 50% in three years. A big factor, AWEA said, was the “relatively stable availability” of the production tax credit (PTC) over the last three years. As a result, U.S.-based supply chain providers have been able to establish a much stronger foundation of domestic manufacturing for turbine components, ranging from towers and blades to gear boxes, bearings, and electrical and electronic components. AWEA estimated that, by the end of 2008, approximately half of the turbine components for turbines installed in the U.S. will be produced domestically. It also said that in 2007 and early 2008, at least 17 manufacturing facilities had been brought online or expanded in the U.S., creating more than 4,000 jobs and $500 million in manufacturing investment.

In August, a new market research report from BCC Research projected the domestic market for wind turbine components and systems to be worth $60.9 billion in 2013, up from $7.9 billion in 2007 and an estimated $11.2 billion in 2008. This growth potential hasn’t gone unnoticed outside the U.S., either, as evidenced by a recent Wall Street Journal report (September 12, Alexander Becker, B4) that Germany’s Siemens AG planned to increase its production of wind-turbine parts in the United States. Andreas Nauen, chief executive of Siemens’s wind power unit, reportedly told the Wall Street Journal’s Alexander Becker that Siemens plans to manufacture wind-turbine nacelles in the U.S., in addition to the rotor blades that it already produces at a plant in Iowa. “By boosting its manufacturing capacity,” Becker wrote, “Siemens is getting in gear for the expected long-term growth of the world-wide wind-power market.”

As Design-2-Part goes to press, the recently-adjourned U.S. Congress has taken a necessary step toward ensuring that renewable energy technologies continue to play a vital role in the expansion of U.S. manufacturing. Its passage, on October 3, 2008, of the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008 extends the federal investment tax credits for businesses and individuals who invest in various forms of renewable energy. The new law, signed by the President the same day, also extends the production tax credits for facilities that generate energy from renewable sources. Both actions are expected to increase the market demand for American-made parts, components, and assemblies on the part of OEMs serving industries such as solar, wind, geothermal, and green building.

Renewal of the tax credits encourages further investment in renewable energy industries that have the potential to help solve our nation’s energy problems while providing meaningful jobs for thousands of workers. According to a report from AWEA earlier this year, expiration of the tax credits could have placed $19 billion in renewable energy investment and some 116,000 American jobs at risk. Let’s hope that the tax credits help to continue the momentum that’s been built toward strengthening America’s economy around a clean-energy manufacturing base.

For more information on AWEA, visit www.awea.org.

For more on BCC Research, or its report, “Wind Turbines: The U.S. Market (EGY058A),” visit www.bccresearch.com or contact the company at 866-285-7215.

¹Design-2-Part Magazine

read more | digg story

Bookmark and Share


Global Nutraceutical Market Update

October 27, 2008

WELLESLEY, Mass.—According to a new technical market research report, Nutraceuticals:global markets and processing technologies (FOD013C) from BCC Research, the global market for nutraceuticals was worth $117.3 billion in 2007. This is expected to increase to $123.9 billion in 2008 and reach $176.7 billion in 2013, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.4 percent.
The market is broken down into nutraceutical foods, beverages and supplements. Nutraceutical foods were the largest market segment in 2007, worth $39.9 billion. This is expected to increase to $40.6 billion in 2008 and $56.7 billion in 2013, for a CAGR of 6.9 percent.
Nutraceutical supplements have the second largest market share, generating $39.0 billion in 2007 and an estimated $40.5 billion in 2008. This segment should reach $48.8 billion in 2013, for a CAGR of 3.8 percent.
The nutraceutical beverages segment represents the fastest growing segment, and is expected to have the largest share of the market by 2013. This segment was worth $38.4 billion in 2007 and is expected to increase to $42.8 billion in 2008 and $71.3 billion in 2013, for a CAGR of 10.8 percent.
The global nutraceutical market is defined as aggregate sales of functional food, beverage and supplements fortified with bioactive ingredients including fiber, probiotics, protein and peptides, omega, phytochemicals, and vitamins and minerals. Currently, foods, beverages and supplements equally contribute about 33 percent each to the total global nutraceutical market. However, functional beverages are expected to overtake the other two markets. The supplement market, on the other hand, is nearly reaching saturation.
The total functional food, beverage and supplement market is known for premiumisation, and thereby makes the market fatter in terms of net sales. The U.S. is leading the global nutraceutical market with over 32.8 percent of the global market share.

¹Natural Products Insider

read more | digg story

Bookmark and Share


3M taps into wind-power business with new `Wind Tape’

October 20, 2008

3M Co., best known for its Scotch Tape, Post-it brand notes and adhesives, is going into the wind-energy business, with a new line of fillers and protective coverings that can extend the life of wind turbine blades.

The 3M Wind Tape product line, part of the $24.5 billion Maplewood-based company’s new Renewable Energy division, puts 3M Co. in the middle of the scramble to develop renewable energy that will reduce the nation’s dependence on fossil fuels and pare global greenhouse gas emissions.

Growth of the wind-energy industry was underscored by a technical market research report issued in August by Wellesley, Mass.-based BCC Research.

The report indicated that that U.S. wind turbine components and systems would be worth $60.9 billion in 2013 – more than five times the 2008 market value of $11.2 billion. ¹

¹Bob Geiger; Finance and Commerce

read more | digg story

Bookmark and Share


Modest growth for US engineering resins

October 9, 2008

According to a new technical market research report, Engineering Resins, Polymer Alloys and Blends from BCC Research, the North American market for engineering resins and polymer alloys/blends reached 1.5 billion kg (3.3 billion pounds) in 2007. This is expected to increase to 1.54 billion kg (3.4 billion pounds) in 2008 and reach more than 1.77 billion kg (3.9 billion pounds) in 2013, for a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.1 per cent.

The market is broken down into polycarbonates, nylons, polybutylene terephthalate (PBT), polyacetals, polycarbonate acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene alloy/blends (PC/ABS), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyphenylene oxide high-impact polystyrene (PPO/HIPS) and others. Of these, polycarbonates have the largest share of the market, with 402 million kg (887 million pounds) in 2007. This is expected to increase to 414 million kg (912 million pounds) in 2008 and 500 million kg (1.1 billion pounds) in 2013, a CAGR of 3.1 per cent. BCC Research adds that the second largest segment is nylons, with 363 million kg (801 million pounds) used in 2007 and an estimated 374 million kg (825 million pounds) in 2008. This should increase to 433 million kg (954 million pounds) in 2013 for a CAGR of 3.0 per cent. PBT is the third largest material by volume, with 186 million kg (410 million pounds) used in 2007. This is expected to increase to 192 million kg (423 million pounds) in 2008 and nearly 227 million kg (500 million pounds) in 2013, a CAGR of 3.2 per cent.

read more | digg story

¹Plastics Additives & Compounds; AddComp.com

Bookmark and Share


Report Values Metal and Ceramic Injection Molding Market at $2.7 Billion by 2014

October 2, 2008

According to a new technical market research report, METAL AND CERAMIC INJECTION MOLDING (AVM049B) from BCC Research, the global market for metal injection molding (MIM) will be worth $984.9 million in 2009. This should increase to $1.9 billion in 2014, for a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.0%.

The MIM market is broken down into the geographic regions of North America, Asia, Europe, and the rest of the world. Asia has the largest segment of the market, estimated to be worth $460.8 million in 2009 and $959.0 million in 2014.

Europe has the next largest MIM market segment, and is expected to generate $279.7 million in 2009 and $484.0 million in 2014, for a CAGR of 11.6%.

North America has the third largest share of the MIM market, worth an estimated $231.0 million in 2009 and $424.0 million in 2014, a CAGR of 12.9%.

The global ceramic injection molding (CIM) market is expected to be worth $394.5 million in 2009 and $801.0 million in 2014, a CAGR of 15.2%. This market is also broken down by geographic region, with North America capturing the largest share of the market. North America is expected to generate $276.5 million in 2009 and $512.6 million in 2014, for a CAGR of 13.1%.

Europe is the next largest CIM segment of the market, worth an estimated $75.1 million in 2009 and $152.2 million in 2014, a CAGR of 15.2%.

The third largest market CIM segment is Asia, which is expected to generate $39.5 million in 2009. This should increase at a CAGR of 24.9% to reach $120.2 million in 2014.¹

read more | digg story

¹AZO Materials; AZOM.com
²Image Credit: Morgan Advanced Ceramics; www.macstourport.com

Bookmark and Share