Levulinic Acid Market Overview
The Levulinic Acid Market size is forecast to reach US$25.7 million by 2027, after growing at a CAGR of 8.8% during 2022-2027 owing to rising demand from various end-use industries such as pharmaceuticals, personal care, food and beverages, agriculture, and other industries to maintain their acidic balance. Levulinic acid is an organic compound and it is categorized under keto acids. It is obtained from the degradation of cellulose and is a potential precursor to biofuels, such as ethyl levulinate. The growth of biofuels application in recent times has resulted in the growth of the levulinic acid market, as it is used in making biofuels. The levulinic acid industry has been benefited from the growing demand for derivatives such as levulinic acid esters (LA-Easter), levulinic acid katels (LA-Katels), and others because these are recognized and versatile molecules to meet today’s demand for sustainability. All these factors are driving the growth of the levulinic acid market and are anticipated to drive growth in the future forecast period.
The levulinic acid market was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, due to the strict lockdown guidelines. As only the production of essential items was allowed it impacted the levulinic acid production. Due to supply chain disruption of the levulinic acid industry, the production in many industries was impacted. The personal care industry saw a decline in market share. For instance, according to the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association (CTPA), in 2019 the global sales of the cosmetics industry was €9.29 billion (US$10.4 billion) and in 2020 it was €8.71 billion (US$9.9 billion), there was a decline of approximately -6.2%, due to this it impacted the growth of levulinic acid industry. Moreover, in the first few months of 2021 when the COVID-19 impact was high the production was not impacted due to the reduced workforce and with increased use of automation, the situation was tackled. It is anticipated that by mid of 2022 the COVID-19 situation will be curbed out and the situation would be back to normalcy as it was before the pandemic.
Levulinic Acid Market Segment Analysis – By Form
The liquid segment held the largest share in the levulinic market in 2021. Before commercial use, levulinic acid was prepared using heating fructose with hydrochloric acid. Many concepts for the commercial production of levulinic acid are based on strong acid technology. Most of the variants of Levulinic acid that have the property of 98% or more than 98% are available in the acidic liquid form or super-cool liquid form due to the use of the levulinic acid in applications in food and beverage, personal care and pharmaceutical become easy. Due to these factors, the liquid form will drive the growth of the levulinic acid market in the future anticipated period.
Levulinic Acid Market Segment Analysis – By Technology
The biofine segment held the largest share in the levulinic acid market in 2021. The wide use of biofine technology in levulinic acid is attributed because it avoids the usage of microorganisms. The biofine technology uses a high temperature, dilute acid-catalyzed, rapid hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass which is then used in the levulinic acid. The biofine technology gives an advantage of economic production of 100% renewable chemicals and second-generation advanced biofuels from any cellulosic waste which best fits the property of levulinic acid. Biofine renewal technology is advantageous for the levulinic acid industry and its various applications such as biofuel, fuel additives, polymers and plastics, resins and coating, agrochemicals, and personal care. Due to these factors, the biofine technology will drive the growth of the levulinic acid market in the future anticipated period also.
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Levulinic Acid Market Segment Analysis – By Derivatives
The levulinic acid ketals (LA-katels) segment held the largest share in the levulinic acid market in 2021. Levulinic acid katels (LA-katels) is widely used in comparison with other derivatives because it has broad solvency power, low volatility, high coupling anility, high safety profile, and biodegradation. Levulinic acid ketals (LA-katels) are used as plasticizers it helps in improving the flexibility and overall performance of biopolymers it is benefiting the levulinic acid market growth. Levulinic acid ketals (LA-katels) are also used in the personal care industry it helps in expanding the formulation flexibility and increasing the concentration, the increasing demand for the personal care industry is leading to the growth of levulinic acid market. Due to these factors, the levulinic acid ketals (LA-katels) will drive the growth of the levulinic acid market in the future anticipated period also.
Levulinic Acid Market Segment Analysis – By Application
The pharmaceutical segment held the largest share in the levulinic acid market in 2021 and is growing at a CAGR of 13.4% during 2022-2027. Levulinic acid is widely used in the precursor of pharmaceutical manufacturing of anti-inflammatory medication, anti-allergy agents, mineral supplements, and transdermal patches. Calcium levulinate is produced with the reaction of levulinic acid levulose and calcium hydroxide. Due to its non-toxicity and non-allergic qualities, calcium levulinate is used in pharmaceutical medicines, tablets, and injections. Moreover, the Asian pharmaceutical market is booming which is benefiting the levulinic acid market. For instance, according to Invest India, India is the world’s third-largest country manufacturing pharmaceuticals by volume and is the largest manufacturer and exporter of generic medicines. Thus, with increasing demand for pharmaceutical, the use of levulinic acid will increase, which are anticipated to drive the growth of the levulinic acid market in the future forecast period.
Levulinic Acid Market Segment Analysis – By End-Use Industry
The medical and healthcare segment held the largest share in the levulinic acid market in 2021 and is growing at a CAGR of 11.2% during 2022-2027. Levulinic acid is used in the precursor process in allergy medicines to treat actinic keratosis disease related to the scalp, face, and upper extremities. In hospitals, levulinic acid is used as a disinfectant to clean the floors of the hospitals. Apart from this, the delta-aminolevulinic acid (DALA) derivative is widely used for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, it helps in tumor detection. For instance, according to International Agency on Research cancer, in the year 2020 estimated 19.3 Million new cancer cases across the world. The levulinic acid derivative can help in diagnosing cancer and according to the treatment can be taken depending on the stage of cancer. Due to these factors, the medical and healthcare industry will drive the growth of the levulinic acid market in the future anticipated period.
Levulinic Acid Market Segment Analysis – By Geography
The Europe region held the largest share in the levulinic acid market in 2021 up to 34% owing to its increased use in the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, automobiles, personal care, and the food and beverage industry. Different derivatives of levulinic acid are used across the industries as per the product need. The production of pharmaceuticals is increasing in the European region which is benefiting the levulinic acid market. For instance, according to the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Association, in 2019 the total production of pharmaceuticals in Europe was €293.2 billion (US$328.2 billion) and in 2020 it increased to €310 billion (US$354.1 billion) with an increase of about 5.7%, due to its demand for levulinic acid is increasing. Countries in the European region are increasing their healthcare and medical expenditure, which has resulted in the growth of the levulinic acid market. For instance, according to Office for National Statistics, in the year 2019 UK healthcare and medical expenditure were €225.2 billion (US$252.1 billion) and in 2020 it increased to €269 billion (US$307.3 billion), with an increase of 19.45%, as the government expenditure on healthcare increased it encouraged higher production which ultimately resulted in the growth of levulinic acid market. Thus, an increase in the demand for the medical and healthcare sector in Europe will certainly lead to an increase in demand for levulinic acid, which will drive the growth of the levulinic acid market in the future forecast period.
Levulinic Acid Market Drivers
Rapid Growth of the Personal Care Industry
In the personal care industry, levulinic acid and its salts such as sodium levulinate are used, which gives a preservative effective for personal care products. Moreover, its use in personal care products has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which has accelerated the growth of the levulinic acid market. The growth in online beauty spending increased consumer interest for premium products, increased social media influence, and the increasing per capita income is driving the sales of personal care products and it is ultimately benefiting the levulinic acid market. For instance, according to the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association (CTPA), in 2019 the global sales of hand care products was €54.09 million (US$60.6 million) and in 2020 it increased to €68.25 million (US$77.9 million) with an overall increase of 26.2%. Moreover, in 2019 the sales of body cream and lotion at the global level was €198.39 million (US$222.1 million) and in 2020 it increased to €201.36 (US$229.99 million) with an increase of 1.5%, which resulted in an increased demand for the levulinic acid market. Thus the growing demand for the personal care industry will also act as a driver for the growth of the levulinic acid market during the forecast period.
Growth in the Agriculture Sector
There has been a growing demand for agrochemicals. The delta-aminolevulinic acid (DELTA) derivative of levulinic acid is widely used in lawns and certain grain crops owing to which the demand for levulinic acid is increasing. Apart from this levulinic acid is widely used in fertilizers which have wide application in the agriculture sector. According to International Fertilizer Association (IFA) at the global level ammonia capacity is projected to grow at 6% from 218 Mt in 2019 to 232 Mt in 2024. Moreover, at the global level phosphate rock supply is projected to grow from 238 Mt in 2019 to 261 Mt in 2024, with an increase of 9%. The growing demand for the agriculture industry will also act as a driver for the growth of the levulinic acid market during the forecast period.
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Levulinic Acid Market Challenges
There has been an increase in the demand of the levulinic acid market due to its use in many end-use industries, but this is also posing a challenge for the overall industry. The market for levulinic acid is very much niche. For increasing the production of levulinic acid there should be more manufacturers coming up to increase the production. Moreover, the factor which is affecting the large-scale production of levulinic acid is the formation of humins (HUs). It hampers biomass hydrolysis and the poor selectivity of acid. Due to these factors, levulinic acid is manufactured in small quantities and it is overall impacting the growth of the levulinic acid market.
Levulinic Acid Industry Outlook
Technology launches, acquisitions, and increased R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in the market. Levulinic Acid top 10 companies include:
In February 2020, GF Biochemicals Ltd. and Towell Engineering Group announced a joint venture called NXTLEVVEL Biochem for the production and marketing of levulinic acid.
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