The Bio-based Poly propylene (PP) market is in its nascent stage. However, given poly propylene’s wide range of applications, the demand for bio-based PP is expected to skyrocket. Moreover, the growing environmental concerns associated with the production and use of fossil fuel derived PP has prompted the need for a replacement for synthetic poly-propylene. The volatile price of petroleum-based chemicals is another crucial factor that serves to shift the inclinations of the consumer as well as the manufacturer towards bio-based chemicals. A pressing issue that has garnered significant global attention is the use of depleting natural resources such as petroleum, in the production of poly propylene. To counter this concern, governments around the world have begun offering subsidies to companies that specialize in bio-based chemicals. There is a growing demand for PP from the packaging industry in China. Since bio-based PP acts as a cost-effective substitute for conventional PP, this could be an opportunity for bio-based PP to overtake conventional PP.
Production of bio-based PP from sugarcane derived ethanol has already proved successful and is expected to witness widespread commercialization in the foreseeable future. Chemical companies are beginning to comprehend the tremendous growth potential that lies in bio-based PP and are anticipated to start production in the near future. Dow Chemicals and Braskem- both, giants of the chemical industry- have invested heavily in developing novel technologies for the production of PP from renewable sources. These initiatives, taken by industry frontrunners, clearly indicate that there will be mass production of bio-based PP in the foreseeable future. Braskem has set up a bio-polyethylene facility for the production of bio-polypropylene at Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The production capacity of this plant is in the range of 30 kilo tons to 50 kilo tons; it is expected to strategically target the packaging industry. As per an announcement made by the company, it will be manufacturing various grades of bio-based PP suitable for specific applications. The present production capacity of the company is estimated at nearly 50 kilo tons.