Polypropylene which is readily formed by catalytic polymerization of propylene is one of the most widely used thermoplastic. Polypropylene is used in a wide range of everyday products such as water bottles, drinking straws, food containers, washing machine and furniture. After polyethylene, polypropylene is the second largest thermoplastic used. Polypropylene is mainly derived from oil however; many companies are now developing technology to convert sugar to polypropylene. Thus, the polypropylene manufactured from the bio based resources is known as green polypropylene. In all respect, the green polypropylene is identical to the polypropylene derived from the oil. The green polypropylene has the same chemical composition, durability and flexibility as that of the polypropylene manufactured from crude oil. The green polypropylene originates from the renewable sugar and hence, with the increase in the production of the green polypropylene the dependency on the crude oil is expected to decrease.
The unique properties of polypropylene such as transparency, moisture resistance, twist retention, stiffness and sealability makes it one of the most efficient materials for packaging. The growing packaging industry is expected to boost the overall growth of the polypropylene market. In addition, many automobile manufacturing companies are shifting their focus towards polypropylene and especially green polypropylene owing to the increase in the demand for light weight vehicles. Green polypropylene reduces the weight of the automobiles which in turn help in increasing fuel efficiency. Moreover, many automobile manufacturers also are shifting their focus towards green polypropylene in order to comply with various environmental regulations. Green polypropylene is manufactured from sugarcane and hence, unlike the polypropylene derived from oil the prices of green polypropylene are expected to remain stable. Green polypropylene is mainly manufactured using the microbial fermentation process. Green polypropylene is an environment friendly which is expected reduce greenhouse gas emissions compared to their synthetic counterparts.
Asia Pacific is expected to be the largest manufacturer of polypropylene owing to the huge production capacity in China. The increasing retail sector and also the development of other industries in China are expected to drive the overall polypropylene market. However, owing to the stringent environmental regulations especially in North America and Europe the overall demand for bio-based or green polypropylene is expected to increase. In addition, the presence of automobile industries in Europe is further expected to augment the overall growth of the green polypropylene market. However, the overall demand for the green polypropylene in the countries comprising within the rest of world is expected to remain sluggish owing to the presence of huge oil reserves in this region.
Braskem, one of the largest petrochemical companies was the first company in the world to manufacture 100% certified green polypropylene. Braskem has collaborated with Novozymes one of the leading industrial enzymes to manufacture bio-based polymers. Many companies are now focusing on the research and development to manufacture polypropylene from the bi based resources. The companies are striving to reduce their dependencies on the crude oil owing to the increasing environmental regulations coupled with the volatile prices. Moreover, companies are more focused to achieve competitive advantage by developing new technologies to manufacture bio based polypropylene. Different resources are studied which will help in manufacturing large scale green polypropylene using cost effective methods and thus, focused to achieve economies of scale to make the green polypropylene available at low cost.
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