North America is Fastest Growing Market for Biolubricants

Growth in Europe, North America driven primarily by environmental concerns.

The North American market for biolubricants is expected to grow at a rate of 7.1% CAGR by 2017, according to a new research study, making it the fastest growing market.

Use of biolubricants in Europe should reach 240,000 tons by 2017, according to Global Industry Analysts, a market research firm, which produced the report, "Biolubricants: A North American and European Market Report."

Industry gains have been supported by "research studies that indicate that use of biolubricants can reduce emission of greenhouse gases by more than half, and also reduce two-thirds of energy consumption as compared to petroleum-derived lubricants," GIA states.

Given growing environmental concerns and stricter environmental regulations, GIA states that "growing demand for environmentally-compatible lubricants bodes well for the future of biolubricants."

The study pointed out that small and medium-sized firms in the field require continuing investment to develop "innovative new biolubricants" and that the availability of investment capital in Europe is a concern. However, GIA reports that despite expected credit rationing in Europe, "capital will continue to be funneled towards technology intensive, green & environmentally friendly products/services at the expense of traditional industries/manufacturers."

Soybean and palm oil-based biolubricants are expected to grow in popularity in coming years because of their performance and cost characteristics, GIA reports. Palm oil, for example, can be used as a lubricant "due to characteristics such as modest thermal-oxidative stability and the ability to remain fluid during cold temperatures.'

GIA said major players in the biolubricants marketplace include BP, Chevron, Cargill, ExxonMobil and Esso.

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