Global levulinic acid market demand is expected to reach 3,820 tons by 2020. Increasing application scope for levulinic acid, particularly in pharmaceuticals, pesticides, cosmetics and solvents is expected to spur demand growth over the next six years. High R&D spending, particularly to reduce costs to competitive levels is a critical dynamic for market participants, as substitution for synthetic products in potential applications such as fuel additives, polymers, bio-actives can only be achieved at low levulinic acid prices. As of 2013, levulinic acid has emerged as a niche platform chemical in application markets including Methyltetrahydrofuran (MTHF), DALA, ethyl levulinate and Diphenolic Acid, with potential addressable demand estimated to be over 25,000 kilo tons by 2020.
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Key industry participants such as DuPont, Segetis and Biofine have already developed patented technologies for levulinic acid commercialization through renewable sources. These companies are presently scouting for potential partners to share risk and cost, while working on reducing product costs. Current levulinic acid costs between USD 5 to 8 per kilo, with a target price of less than USD 1 per kilo, it is expected that the reduced price will open a host of opportunities including energy, transportation, green chemicals and specialty polymers.
Further key findings from the study suggest:
- Global levulinic acid consumption was estimated at 2,606.2 tons in 2013 and is expected to reach 3,820 tons by 2020, growing at a CAGR of 5.7% from 2014 to 2020. Market revenue is expected to reach USD 19.65 million by 2020, growing at a CAGR of 4.8% from 2014 to 2020.
- Pharmaceuticals and agriculture applications dominate levulinic acid demand, and accounted for 66% of global volumes in 2013. Agricultural applications include Organic potassium fertililizer DALA, 2–Methylindole-3-acetic acid.
- North America was the largest consumer of levulinic acid in 2013, accounting for over 41% of the global demand. Regional levulinic acid demand in North America is expected to reach 1,598.3 tons by 2020, growing at a CAGR of 5.6% from 2014 to 2020. The presence of large application industries in the region is the primary reason for high growth and rapid consumption.
- Key companies in the levulinic acid space include DuPont, Segetis and Biofine. These companies presently have technology ready and are in various stages of commercialization and application development. The global market is also characterized by the presence of an unorganized market in China, with key suppliers being Jiangsu Yancheng China Flavor Chemicals Co, Hebei Langfang Triple Well Chemicals Co.Ltd, and Shijiazhuang Pharmaceutical Group Ouyi Pharmaceutical Co Ltd. among others.
Levulinic Acid Application Outlook:
- Agriculture (Organic potassium fertililizer DALA, 2–Methylindole-3-acetic acid)
- Food Additives
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Levulinic Acid Regional Outlook:
- North America
- Asia Pacific
- Rest of the World
Bio-based Levulinic Acid Potential Downstream Platform Outlook:
- Methyltetrahydrofuran (MTHF)
- Delta aminolevulinic acid (DALA)
- Diphenolic Acid
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