Bio-based Polypropylene Glycol (PG) market is expected to grow owing to its significantly lower GHG emissions in comparison to petroleum derived PG. ADM’s bio-based PG life cycle assessment estimated GHG impacts for production from soybean derived glycerol was 61% lower as compared to petrochemical based PG. Extensive applications of PG including plastic, food, cosmetic, pharmaceutical and electronic results in over 900 kilo tons of petrochemical resource consumption. Depleting petroleum resources coupled with excessive GHG emissions led to development of two types of bio-based PG; PG-I for industrial uses and USP for human use in sync with U.S. FDA standards.
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Bio-based PG market is expected to witness significant gains in the near future as a result of increased use in cosmetics as a substitute to oil derived PG due to properties such as low toxicity, low heavy metal content and desirable formulation. It finds extensive applications in the cosmetic industry as solvent, carrier, skin conditioning agent, humectant, mild antimicrobial agent, dispersant, wetting, swelling agent and penetration enhancer in products including skin creams & lotions, deodorants, perfumes & colognes, baby care products and toiletries.
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ADM has a patented glycol technology that uses a catalytic process “hydrogenolysis” wherein high temperature and pressure reaction involving a unique catalyst converts glycerol into PG and water which is further purified to industrial grade or food grade. Glycerol used in bio-based PG production is a byproduct of biodiesel production from vegetable oils making it a renewable bio-source. The company reuses byproducts from glycol manufacturing and exhausted process catalysts are reclaimed and recycled. Bio-based PG is commercially produced at their plant in Decatur, Illinois having a capacity of 100 kilo tons of industrial grade PG.
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