Greener products are being increasingly demanded around the world. Added to this is a need for cheaper feedstocks, cost-effective processing and alternative product lines. All the while, chemical products are being commercialised around the world. Growth is expected to spike as a result of increasing demand for energy and the recent spikes in natural gas and crude oil prices. Various alternatives in the chemical industry include green chemistry principles and bio-based chemicals. Other products include bio-based feedstocks.
According to the BCC Research report, alternative chemical usage in the US is expected to reach $149.9 billion this year and $884.1 billion in 2026. This represents a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 19.4%. The pharmaceutical industry will experience a 13.5% CAGR in that 10-year period with increases from $27 billion to $96.2 billion. Another industry is the alternative packaging industry and this is expected to spike by 25% in the 10-year period in terms of CAGR from $25 billion to $232.1 billion. When it comes to detergent products and alternative cleaning products, the CAGR in that industry during the 10-year period is 18.4% and it is expected to be worth $29.3 billion this year and $158.7 billion by 2026.
The numbers are clear: green chemistry will rapidly outpace the growth rate in the global chemical market between 2016 and 2026. Various hazardous substances are increasingly being phased out in favour of safer alternative green chemistry options. This has the effect of decreasing the damage done on the environment, and making for safer human consumption. Consumers across the board are searching for safe and sustainable products and governments are tightening the laws to make it mandatory for chemical companies to comply with safety standards. One such agency that is working around the clock to achieve these objectives is the EPA due to its focus on environmentally-friendly chemical products.
Manufacturers are opting for green chemistry as the costs of fossil fuels feedstocks increase. The authorities are facilitating the switch to green chemistry by providing the necessary incentives. These changes are presenting the markets with additional business opportunities, and chemical producers are understanding the impact that pollution has on overall business profitability. The chemical industry has been dominated by a handful of big players, and the introduction of green chemistry has shaken up the industry to such a degree that many new lucrative profitable opportunities exist.
Demand for inorganic chemicals and petrochemicals remains high at present, but it will change when alternatives for these products begin appearing in the market. As the cost of petrochemical products increase, so green chemistry processes become more attractive to chemical companies. Regulation, shifting societal preferences, sustainable production and changing technologies are all helping to drive the chemical industry towards green chemistry on a wider basis.