Market Analysis


Project: Modern society has been built on the back of petroleum, with the carbon rich resource providing everything from energy for transportation, to flavorings and fragrances, to plastics. However, with sources of petroleum coming under ever increasing global demand, renewable alternatives are being derived from organic materials including agriculture and food waste. While the chemical processes to accomplish this existed at the lab scale, commercial scale-up of the technology was in its infancy. As the science was being refined, it was the competitive market that would likely provide the greatest challenge. The SGE Immersion team analyzed end markets for bio-derived carbon-based products and developed recommendations for how Emerson should approach downstream business development. The analysis focused on chemical industries (e.g., pharmaceuticals, fine chemicals, specialty chemicals, polymers, and bulk chemicals) and also included energy markets (e.g. biodiesel, biogas). The team assessed the demand of different inputs to these industries and expected price ranges in order to develop insights about the cost and quality at which biochemicals and biofuels would need to be produced to compete with traditional petroleum sources. The team also explored and sized niche areas of the markets which would put special value on renewable sources (e.g. regulations, political pressures, marketing purposes, etc.). Finally, the team examined any current bio-based businesses in the markets and reported on their technology/product offering(s), marketing strategy, and commercial success to date.