Mitsui & Co. talked about the importance of creating market pull at the Plenary session of BioWorld Congress in Industrial Biotechnology 2016 in San Diego, California last week.
DuPont Industrial Biosciences also stressed the importance of performance to the success of biomaterials. Barrier properties are important for the PET industry and may drive demand for certain intermediates. Dupont will be producing FDME/FDCA with properties of interest to the PET industry, the company said:
Performance has become a key factor in the biomaterials environment as competitiveness has become more and more difficult to achieve in the context of a low-cost oil environment. In the bio-succinic acid arena, new producers report competitive costs with $35/bbl oil but the Blogger noted an overall shift to a focus on the importance of performance, maybe even over cost and even over sustainability. Not that these two latter factors are not important; of course they are, but as the market adjusts to what seems to be a new low crude oil price paradigm, consumers want to know: what are the properties you can offer that make your product worth testing and qualifying? In the case of bio-succinic, spokespeople from Mitsui & Co. gave some insights into the state of the business at this time: Many start-up companies are suffering from the loss of funding and the collapse of investor interest in this sector; but those companies in the Bio sector with real technology will survive in the market using new technologies, despite the low crude oil price. And big chemical companies like Dow-Dupont and BASF will retain their interest in this area and remain in this for the long term. We need to look at a ten-year plan; five years have passed already and there will be a strong future for those who can stay in for the long term.