The global biorefinery market was valued at $ 432.4 billion in 2014, and it is expected to grow with a CAGR of 14.0% during 2015 - 2020. The increasing need for energy independence is driving the growth of the global biorefinery market. North America accounted for the largest share in the global biorefinery market with $ 311.3 billion in 2014. The different countries across the world are trying to free themselves from dependence on foreign oil. The European Union have set target as per Renewable Energy Directive (RED), to fulfil at least 20% of its total energy needs with renewables by 2020. Similarly, the U.S. renewable fuel standard program was created to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and expand the U.S. renewable fuels sector, thus reducing reliance on imported oil. Biofuels are one of the most efficient alternatives for petroleum based fuels, as it can be produced locally from the feedstock available. Therefore, a high demand for biofuels is expected during the forecast period.
In addition, the implementation of stringent environmental regulations across the globe is propelling the demand for efficient renewable energy sources. Several international organizations are framing strict guidelines and standards, in order to reduce the greenhouse gases emission, thus fuelling the growth of the global biorefinery market. However, the requirement of high initial capital investment and uncertain global economic conditions are expected to hinder the growth of the market to some extent.
Biorefinery refers to the facilities, which converts biomass into fuels, power, heat, chemicals and materials, food, and several other useful products. Biorefinery is analogous to the conventional petroleum refineries producing a variety of fuels and other useful products from petroleum feedstock. A biorefinery utilizes different kinds of biomass, such as agricultural crops, wood, forest residues, algae, sea weeds, and organic residues. Several types of energy crops, such as woody and herbaceous plants are required to be grown for input in biorefinery. These crops are developed using fertilizers, chemicals for crop protection, and others. This creates abundant growth opportunities for the market players in chemical industries. Moreover, biomass production also offers abundant opportunities of revenue generation for farmers and companies involved in biomass plantation. Different processes and techniques, such as pyrolysis, gasification, fermentation, esterification, acid hydrolysis and fractionation are used for the conversion of biomass into useful products including energy, chemicals, and materials.
Among the various technologies, the thermochemical segment is expected to witness the fastest growth (17.3% CAGR) during 2015 – 2020 in the global biorefinery market. The industrial biotechnology segment held the largest market share with $ 224.8 billion in 2014, and it is expected to reach $ 447.3 billion by 2020, growing with a CAGR of 13.0% during the period 2015-2020.
Some of the major players operating in the global biorefinery market are Abengoa Bioenergy SA, Neste, Pacific Ethanol Inc., Renewable Energy Group Inc., UOP LLC, and Valero Energy Corporation.