Natural polymers are the macromolecules that are obtained from natural origins like plants, animals or micro-organisms. Natural polymer market is witnessing significant growth owing to its low carbon footprint, low cost, and easy bioavailability.
The global natural polymer market is segmented by type, application, and region.
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On the basis of type, the global natural polymer market is segmented into cellulose ether, starch & fermentation polymers, exudate & vegetable gums, and others (protein-based polymers, marine polymers, pectin, silk, wool). The cellulose ether segment expected to lead the natural polymer market under product category during the review period 2017-2023. Cellulose ether is widely used in pharmaceutical, food & beverage, construction, oilfields, cosmetics & personal care products. Cellulose ether is further segmented into methylcellulose (MC), hydroxyethyl cellulose (HEC), carboxymethylcellulose (CMC), and microcrystalline cellulose (MCC). The MC segment leads the global natural polymer market due to its vast application as a performance additive for plastering, flooring, grouting, mortaring, tile adhesion, and stucco in the construction industry and as thickener and emulsifier in the food & beverage, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries. Moreover, HEC & CMC are also predicted to witness a significant growth in the demand due to their wide application as an ingredient of drilling mud in oilfield, and as a thickener and emulsion stabilizer in cosmetics & personal care products, food & beverage, and pharmaceutical. Furthermore, MCC finds application as an excipient in the pharmaceutical industry and as an anti-caking agent, stabilizer, texture modifier or suspending agent in the food & beverage industry. Starch and fermentation polymers is expected to witness a boost in the demand due to its wide applications in the pharmaceutical industry. Starch and fermentation products accounted for the second largest market segment after cellulose ether owing to its wide application in packaging industry. Further, it is sub-segmented into xanthan gum, starch derivatives, polylactic acid and hyaluronic acid. Polylactic acid is the fastest growing sub-segment in starch & fermentation products due to its declining prices and application in packaging. Hyaluronic acid is widely used in pharmaceutical industry for relieving joint pain in orthopedic injections. Exudate & vegetable gums is expected to show growth mainly due to guar gum application in the food & beverage & pharmaceutical industry as a substitute of pectin.
On the basis of the application, the global natural polymer market is segmented into food & beverages, pharmaceutical, oilfield, cosmetic & personal care products, construction, coatings & inks, adhesives, packaging, and textiles amongst others. Pharmaceutical is the largest and fastest growing application in the global natural polymer market due to its varying use in wound dressing, treatment of arthritic-affected joints, and as excipients, which serve various functions such as binding, lubricating, gelling, suspending, flavoring, sweetening and bulking agent among others. While the oilfield application accounted to be the second largest after pharmaceutical. Additionally, food & beverages, cosmetic & personal care products, construction, coatings & inks, adhesives, packaging, and textiles among others are also expected to show growth in the forecast period due to easy availability, low cost, eco-friendly nature of natural polymer over their synthetic counterparts.
Geographically, the global natural polymer market is divided into Asia Pacific, North America, Europe, the Middle East & Africa, and Latin America. North America is leading the regional landscape due to a wide range of application of natural polymer in the pharmaceutical industry and few applications in oilfield and packaging. Asia Pacific is the second largest natural polymer market across the globe due to its wide application in food & beverages, packaging, oilfield, and construction.
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Some of the key players operating in the global natural polymer market are Ashland, Cargill, Incorporated, DowDuPont Inc., Economy Polymers & Chemicals, Encore Natural Polymers., Novamont S.p.A., Archer Daniels Midland Company, Plantic, Borregaard, Marine Polymer Technologies, Inc., and CP Kelco.