Last week, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) released a new report on the renewable chemical industry, featuring key players in the space, including (we are pleased to announce) Rivertop. The report “Advancing the Biobased Economy: Renewable Chemical Biorefinery Commercialization, Progress and Market Opportunities, 2016 and Beyond,” was written in order to document the progress and illustrate the potential for biobased production of renewable chemicals—and the results are impressive.

While sales of renewable chemicals represented 9 percent of worldwide chemical sales in 2012 (an already impressive number), their share is expected to grow to 11 percent by 2020. Meanwhile, sales of biobased products are expected to reach $375-$441 billion by 2020, with renewable chemicals and new biopolymers expected to have some of the highest growth rates within that greater expansion for the industry.

BIO found that renewable chemicals and biobased materials are attractive for many reasons—they can be commercialized at a smaller scale, come with environmental benefits, offer novel properties in comparison to traditional chemicals and promise more stable costs.

These advantages are familiar to everyone at Rivertop Renewables. We are using our proprietary technology to transform sugar acids into a variety of valuable chemical ingredients that allow our customers to make products that compete on price, performance and sustainability. Check out our Waterline and Headwaters corrosion inhibitors, and our Riose detergent builder to see how we are just getting started with our breakthrough technology platform.

The report also highlights certain policies that have successfully supported the expansion of the renewable chemicals and biobased products industry, as well as policies that could have a large effect if they are passed or expanded. Most notably, BIO highlights the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which it claims initiated important discussion on renewable chemicals and biobased products in addition to biofuels.

This is of course at its essence a reaffirmation of what we have been seeing for years—the renewable chemicals industry is humming and has enormous potential. BIO’s executive vice president, Brent Erickson, put it best: “The biobased economy is alive and well and it’s not just about biofuels development.”

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