Ethanol to remain world's most prevalent green solvent

By EPM Staff | March 07, 2017

Global demand for green solvents, chemicals derived from natural or renewable resources, will soon reach 2 billion pounds per year, according to a Cleveland-based industry research firm.

In its new report, The Freedonia Group says growth in the green solvents market is being brought on by strong consumer demand for naturally-derived products that have a minimal impact on the environment. Federal and state policies that seek to limit or reduce environmental emissions and health hazards are also boosting demand for green solvents.

Notably, ethanol will account for nearly half the growth in green solvent demand through 2020, and traditional green solvents such as terpenes and soy-based chemicals will also experience healthy growth. However, one of the biggest contributors to growth in green solvent demand will be the commercial-scale production of a wide variety of solvents (propylene glycol, dipropylene glycol, butanol, ethyl acetate, etc.) that have traditionally only been produced from petroleum or natural gas. 

Markets that can incorporate green solvents into finished products will continue to benefit from ongoing consumer demand for goods made from natural or renewable ingredients. As a result, consumer-focused industries such as paint and coatings, cosmetics and toiletries, and cleaning products have seen the most growth in green solvent usage. Additionally, strong consumer demand for more natural products is supported by the regulatory environment in the U.S., which has sought to drastically cut back on volatile organic compound emissions in a variety of solvents. From a manufacturers' perspective, the transition to more compliant products and processes has been eased by a marketplace that is predisposed to these environmentally friendly modifications, making such changes cost effective.

More information about the report can be found here