End use industries include binders, animal feed. adhesives, concrete admixtures, bitumen, phenols and vanillin. Growing demand for animal feed is anticipated to drive the lignin market over the forecast period.
Increasing need for dust control is another key factor for lignin market growth. Over the past few years it has been increasingly used as a substitute to calcium carbonate as a dust collector. It is also mixed with construction materials or solvents to form dust collector systems. It is absorbed by the dust particle and bonds with the particulate matter on a molecular level. In addition, research studies have shown that these dust collectors in pavements have proved to be more effective than its calcium carbonate counterparts.
Lignin is being increasingly utilized as an additive in concrete as it functions as an effective water reducer and controls the rheological properties of the base material; this also increases the durability of concrete resulting in lower maintenance cost.
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Commercial extraction procedure is a traditional process which results in low yield. There is a significant difference between yield obtained commercially and conducted by research institutes. This large gap between R&D and industries is expected to hamper market growth. In addition, low consumer awareness regarding usage and benefits, on account of minimal regulatory initiative may also challenge industry participants.
Ligno-sulphonates accounted for over 10% of global lignin market share in 2014; concrete industry growth in the U.S., China and India owing to improvement of construction sector at domestic sector is expected to drive demand.
Low purity lignin is majorly deployed as a bio-refinery catalyst owing to low price compared to other products. Rising awareness towards utilization of biomass for manufacturing fuels, chemicals and polymers have increased the importance of bio-refineries. High manufacturing cost along with lack of regulations pertaining to promote bio-refinery developments in China, India and Middle East is expected to be a concern and may negatively impact demand over the next seven years.
Kraft lignin market demand is expected to reach 128.8 kilo tons by 2022.
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Key applications include the manufacturing macromolecules which accounted for 69.5% of global market volume in 2014. Application growth of carbon fibers in construction and automotive industries as lightweight materials is expected to increase the importance of macromolecules. As a result, it is expected to find applications as an intermediate. Other notable applications include catalysis, cosmetics, photometry, glass manufacturing etc.
Europe lignin market dominated global demand, accounting for over 38% of total volume in 2014. Regulatory push to restrict green house gas emissions along with focus on bio-polymers in Germany, Netherlands, France and Belgium is likely to drive demand.
North America followed Europe in 2014, accounting for over 34% of global consumption. The U.S. EPA announced financial assistance to promote industry growth of biopolymers as well as bio-refinery which is expected to growth in the near future.
Asia Pacific lignin market demand was 2,252.3 kilo tons in 2014 and is expected to reach 3,718.1 kilo tons by 2022, which China accounting for over 50% of regional consumption.
Competitive Market Share
Key players occupying global lignin market share include Borregaard, Tembec, Mead-Westvaco (MWV), Domtar Corporation, Asian and Aditya Birla Group. Borregaard Lignotech was the leading manufacturer accounting for over 40% of the global demand. The company offers products for applications such as concrete admixtures, battery additives, carbon black, dispersions, fertilizers, emulsions, gypsum boards, industrial binders and so on.
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