Biochems must be cost-competitive to enter mainstream – consultant

09 May 2012 17:16  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Biochemicals and biomaterials need to be cost-competitive and perform the same as or better than traditional materials to become mainstream, said business research and consulting firm Frost & Sullivan on Wednesday.

“The need for green sustainable solutions and rising fuel costs has injected a lot of energy and focus into biochemiclas and bio-based materials,” said Bill Stringer, consultant and practice director for Frost & Sullivan’s chemicals materials and foods business.

However, he added that although we are in need of new green products, if they do not provide customers with an equal or better performance than current materials and are not competing on price, these products have no chance of entering the market.

A number of key players in the industry, such as DSM, Dupont and BASF, are putting a lot of emphasis on looking for alterantive feedstocks to fossil fuels, said Stringer.

He added that the industry is getting closer to providing alternatives and significant changes are in the process.

“The interesting thing [that will] emerge over the next 8-10 years is that we will reach [this goal] with predictions that 20% of polyethylene being bio-based produced by 2020 is a dramatic shift in the way one of our core materials that we use in every day life will be produced.

"So there are some key dynamics occurring because of rising fossil fuel costs,” said Stringer.

Stringer added that from an investment point of view the key opportunities arising are around acquisitions of small bio-technology companies developing new biomaterials and biochemicals.

By: Leigh Stringer
+44 208 652 3214

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