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The Increasing Demand for Bio-Based Solvents

Green solvents are made from beat, sugars, corn and other products. Bio-based solvents act as a replacement for crude oil-based solvents and are just as effective, while also being safe. Thanks to their higher boiling point, low toxicity, recyclability, low miscibility and other features that crude oil-based solvents don’t have, sustainable solvents are getting a lot of attention. Many people are especially interested in the fact that green solvents don’t release the same high numbers of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as petroleum-based solvents during manufacturing.

What Are Green Solvents Used for?

Sustainable solvent suppliers are seeing increased demand for bio-based solvents for a number of uses, including coatings, paints, printing inks, cosmetics, personal care products, sealants, cases, pharmaceuticals and more. Paints and coating are the most popular use, accounting for 40% of the global green solvent market in 2014.

As customer demand for more sustainable products in these industries grows, manufacturers are more interested in purchasing greener ingredients and components, including green solvents. Sustainable solvents are useful in manufacturing, construction, cosmetics manufacturing and more industries.

How Popular Are Bio-Sustainable Solvents?

In 2014, the worldwide market for green solvents was 4.3 billion (USD), and it is expected to grow to over eight billion by 2023. In 2014, North America had a 30% share in the worldwide green solvent market, putting it ahead of other regions. However, the Asia Pacific region saw the largest growing market for these solvents in 2014. Countries such as China, Malaysia, India and Thailand are seeing an increasing interest in greener agrochemical solutions, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and other applications, which will likely drive the green solvent market.

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End-market and consumer demands for greener products as well as a wider range of products are the biggest factors for promoting market growth in green solvents. However, petroleum-based solvents are mass produced, low cost and easily accessible. Feedstock costs and more complex manufacturing do affect the cost and availability of green solvents for now.

As green solvents are more commercialized, though, it is expected more manufacturers will choose them over the less sustainable alternatives. Already, manufacturers and researchers are seeking ways to make water-based and green solvents more commercially available. These innovations will likely shape the market in the years to come.

Popular Varieties of Green Solvents

Green solvents can include a variety of products, especially bio-based ethanol and methyl soyate. While methyl soyate is quickly gaining market share, many manufacturers choose bio-based ethanol at this point because of the number of applications it can be used for and because of its widespread commercialization, making it more affordable and convenient to purchase. Ethyl lactate is also a green solvent that’s growing in popularity, used primarily as a replacement for petroleum solvents.

Acme-Hardesty is a leading distributor of oleochemicals, backed by more than 70 years of expertise. Currently focused on developing green solutions for customers, Acme-Hardesty is the choice of many manufacturers seeking oleochemicals, cosmetic oleochemicals, castor oils and derivatives, preservatives, surfactants and palm derivatives. For more information on the benefits of green solvents, contact us today.