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Biodegradable Polymers

Global biodegradable polymers market: Latest market research analysed

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2014-01-22 04:22:01 - Biodegradable Polymers - a new market research report on

The objective of this study is to provide an analysis of the global biodegradable polymer market. According to most sources this market has not yet realized its potential due to several critical yet unresolved issues.

Reasons for Doing the Study

Although biodegradable polymers have been commercial for several decades, this niche market is beset with a variety of roadblocks led by high prices and lack of an industrial infrastructure along with varying standards in several global areas.

New biodegradable polymers are being introduced, accompanied by a continuing withdrawal of other products. In addition, key companies are entering and leaving this market, which is often characteristic of new products/markets.

The industry has been characterized by new technologies, tightening environmental restraints and unstable oil prices among



other issues. This combination of factors necessitates a realistic appraisal of the impact of these polymers over the next five years.

Scope of Report

Although the term biodegradable polymers is well known, there are only a few truly universal standards in place; moreover, the fate of these materials in composting mediums is unclear in many instances. In addition, major drivers for global growth stem from mandated legislation. Though some mandates are in place, many have not been promulgated.

The controversy within the industry as to which materials should be considered biodegradable continues unabated. These resins currently include polyolefin-based compositions containing starch and polymers containing aromatic groups that microorganisms have difficulty utilizing in their metabolism.

Furthermore, there are additives said to convert petroleum-based resins to biodegradable versions. These resultant resins are said to be oxo-biodegradable.

Part of the current debate revolves around defining an acceptable period of time for biodegradation to be completed. Almost all carbon-based materials are biodegradable, if given an acceptable period of time.

This report includes polymers that producers market as fully biodegradable. Most define a fully biodegradable polymer as a polymer that is completely converted by microorganisms to carbon dioxide, water and humus.

In the case of anaerobic biodegradation, carbon dioxide, methane and humus are the degradation products. However, many within the industry insist on a time period for degradation such that the terms biodegradability and composting are not synonymous. The issues concerning biodegradable versus compostable resins is a very important issue that is discussed in detail.

Polymers derived from renewable resources (non-petroleum-based) are not covered unless they are considered biodegradable since many polymers derived from renewable resources are not biodegradable. These materials are often termed as bio-based. Some polymers are both bio-based and biodegradable.

This report covers the chemical types of biodegradable polymers along with their properties, production, producers and applications. The companies involved will be detailed in terms of their products including trade names and their impact on the market. Definitions and standards, market drivers, biodegradation testing, environmental issues, composting and relevant technologies will also be discussed.

An examination of global consumption is provided along with considerable information regarding North American, European and Asian products, technologies, markets and companies.

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Mike King
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