Bioalcohols are key in protecting the environment from greenhouse gases and global warming. Bioalcohols are biologically produced alcohols and some of the most common bioalcohols are ethanol; and propanol and butanol to some extent. They are produced by the action of microorganisms and enzymes through the process of the fermentation of sugars or starches. Bioalcohols are also produced through the fermentation of cellulose. The most common application of bioalcohols is their use as an alternative to gasoline. The global bioalcohols market is growing due to increasing scarcity of fossil fuels and huge fluctuations in global crude oil prices. Due to the problem of global warming, which is caused by the emission of carbon dioxide contributing to the greenhouse effect, bioalcohols are emerging as a popular alternative to traditional fossil fuels. Due to the increasing use of bioalcohols, the carbon footprint is reduced, and hence there is a lucrative opportunity for the use of such substances as the fuel of the future. Combined with this, the rising use of bioalcohols in emerging economies is fuelling the global bioalcohols market in a positive direction.
Bioalcohols as a fuel of the future
Presently, bioalcohols are manufactured by the process of fermentation of biomass including organic wastes. With latest technological advancements, the production of bioalcohols is increasing being derived from cellulosic biomass usage, thus supporting the growth of the global bioalcohols market. Cellulosic biomass comprises complex sugar molecules such as those found in switch grass and corn. Due to the rapid advances made by biotechnology, researchers have now devised a way to use this cellulosic biomass for improvements to fossil fuels. There are distinct advantages of bioalcohols over fossil fuels in terms of emissions related to sulphur, nitrogen oxide, ground ozone and carbon monoxide. The emission of such hazardous substances is reduced by mixing bioalcohols in fossil fuels. The only emissions that are generated by the use of bioalcohols are formaldehyde and acetaldehyde, that don’t have any effect on the surroundings. Ethanol gases possess the property of having less atmospheric reactivity, and thus result in reduced oxidant formation. There are various hazardous substances that are emitted by the burning of fossil fuels, and some of them are even cancerous. The emission of such hazardous substances will be reduced by using ethanol and methanol, because they give out advanced steam pressure after getting mixed with petrol. There is no change in the performance of petrol by mixing it with ethanol or methanol.
Key regions leading the production and consumption of bioalcohols
There are various types of bioalcohols such as bio butanol, bio BDO, bio methanol and bio ethanol. Currently, Germany is the largest consumer and producer of bioalcohols. There are stringent norms in Germany regarding pollution control and protection of the environment, and hence the market for bioalcohols is growing in this country. However, the shortage of raw materials from which bioalcohols can be produced is acting as a major dampener in the bioalcohols market in Germany. United States is the second largest market for bioalcohols in the world. The administration in the United States has taken several initiatives to support the production of bioalcohols as an alternative fuel or as an additive to fossil fuels. The United States government is offering financial assistance to the manufacturers of bioalchols to set up the necessary infrastructure for the production of bioalcohols. Emerging regions such as South America are also a promising market for the production of bioalcohols. The South America region is a hub for the production of bio ethanol, which is one of the major products comprising bioalcohols.
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Bioalcohols Market: Leading Players
Some of the key manufacturers of bioalcohols are BASF SE, Cool Planet Energy Systems, DSM and Cargill.
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