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  • Published In : Nov 2023
  • Code : CMI5852
  • Pages :130
  • Formats :
      Excel and PDF
  • Industry : Advanced Materials

The global biodiesel catalyst market size is estimated to be valued at US$ 231.5 million in 2023 and is expected to reach US$ 325.8 million by 2030, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5% from 2023 to 2030

The biodiesel catalyst market refers to the market for catalysts used in the production of biodiesel. Biodiesel is a renewable fuel made from vegetable oils, animal fats, or recycled cooking oils. Catalysts are substances that accelerate the chemical reactions involved in the conversion of these feedstocks into biodiesel through a process called transesterification.

Biodiesel catalysts, such as sodium hydroxide (NaOH) or potassium hydroxide (KOH), play a crucial role in the transesterification process by facilitating the conversion of triglycerides in the feedstocks into fatty acid methyl esters (FAME), which are the main components of biodiesel. 

Biodiesel Catalyst Market Regional Insights

  • North America: North America, particularly the U.S., has been a significant market for biodiesel production. The region has favorable government policies, such as the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which mandates the blending of biofuels, including biodiesel, into conventional transportation fuels. The availability of feedstocks like soybean oil and used cooking oil further supports the biodiesel catalyst market and this region holds a substantial percentage of the market share, accounting for approximately 34.7%.
  • Europe: Europe has been at the forefront of promoting biofuels and has implemented policies to encourage their use. The European Union's Renewable Energy Directive sets targets for the use of renewable energy sources in transportation, including biodiesel. Countries like Germany, France, and Spain have been leading biodiesel producers in Europe, driving the demand for biodiesel catalysts and Europe holds around 19.4% of the market share.
  • Asia Pacific: The Asia Pacific region is witnessing significant growth in biodiesel production. Countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand have abundant palm oil resources, which are used as feedstocks for biodiesel production. These countries have implemented policies to promote the use of biodiesel, contributing to the demand for biodiesel catalysts and Asia Pacific accounts for approximately 32.8% of the market share

Figure 1. Global Biodiesel Catalyst Market Share (%), by Region, 2023


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Biodiesel Catalyst Market Drivers:

  • Government Regulations and Incentives: Government policies and regulations play a significant role in promoting the use of biodiesel and driving the demand for biodiesel catalysts. Many countries have implemented blending mandates and renewable fuel standards that require a certain percentage of biodiesel to be blended with conventional diesel fuel. Incentives such as tax credits or subsidies further encourage biodiesel production and increase the demand for catalysts. For instance, according to the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Government of India, the Indian government has notified guidelines for the sale of biodiesel for blending with high speed diesel for transportation purposes on April 30, 2019. Through this notification, the government has granted permission exclusively for the sale of biodiesel (B-100) only and not for any mixture thereof of whatever percentage
  • Environmental Concerns and Renewable Energy Goals: Biodiesel is considered a cleaner and more sustainable alternative to conventional diesel fuel. It helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on fossil fuels. Increasing environmental awareness, along with global efforts to combat climate change and achieve renewable energy targets, drive the demand for biodiesel and, subsequently, biodiesel catalysts.
  • Feedstock Availability: The availability of suitable feedstocks, such as vegetable oils, animal fats, and used cooking oil, is crucial for biodiesel production. As the availability and diversity of feedstocks increase, it supports the expansion of biodiesel production and the demand for catalysts.
  • Volatile Crude Oil Prices: Biodiesel offers an alternative to conventional diesel fuel derived from crude oil. Fluctuating crude oil prices and concerns about energy security drive the interest in biofuels, including biodiesel. Biodiesel production can provide stability and a more predictable fuel source, leading to increased demand for biodiesel catalysts.

Biodiesel Catalyst Market Opportunities:

  • Increasing Demand for Biodiesel: The global demand for biodiesel is expected to rise due to environmental concerns, renewable energy goals, and government mandates for biofuel blending. This increased demand creates opportunities for catalyst manufacturers to supply catalysts for biodiesel production. As per the International Energy Agency, global biofuel demand is expected to be 6% or 9,100 million liters per year (MLPY) higher in 2022 than in 2021.
  • Advancements in Catalyst Technology: Ongoing research and development efforts focus on improving catalyst performance, selectivity, and efficiency. Opportunities exist for catalyst manufacturers to develop and commercialize advanced catalyst technologies that offer higher conversion rates, improved stability, and reduced production costs.
  • Feedstock Diversification: The biodiesel industry is exploring alternative feedstocks beyond traditional vegetable oils and animal fats. Feedstocks such as used cooking oil, algae, waste fats, and non-food crops present opportunities for catalyst manufacturers to develop catalysts tailored for specific feedstock types, enabling more efficient and cost-effective biodiesel production.
  • Expansion of Advanced Biofuels: Advanced biofuels, including cellulosic biofuels and waste-based biofuels, are gaining attention as sustainable alternatives to conventional biodiesel. These advanced biofuels require specific catalyst systems for their production, creating opportunities for catalyst manufacturers to develop and supply catalysts tailored for these advanced biofuel production processes.

Biodiesel Catalyst Market Report Coverage

Report Coverage Details
Base Year: 2022 Market Size in 2023: US$ 231.5 Mn
Historical Data for: 2018 to 2021 Forecast Period: 2023 - 2030
Forecast Period 2023 to 2030 CAGR: 5% 2030 Value Projection: US$ 325.8 Mn
Geographies covered:
  • North America: U.S. and Canada
  • Latin America: Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Rest of Latin America
  • Europe: Germany, U.K., Spain, France, Italy, Russia, and Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific: China, India, Japan, Australia, South Korea, ASEAN, and Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Middle East & Africa: GCC Countries, Israel, South Africa, North Africa, Central Africa, and Rest of Middle East
Segments covered:
  • By Catalyst Type: Homogeneous Catalysts, Heterogeneous Catalysts
  • By Catalyst Source: Chemical Catalysts, Biological Catalysts
  • By Feedstock: Vegetable Oil-based Catalysts, Animal Fat-based Catalysts, Algae-based Catalysts
  • By Catalyst Application: Transesterification Catalysts, Esterification Catalysts, Hydrogenation Catalysts, Decarboxylation Catalysts
  • By Catalyst Form: Liquid Catalysts, Solid Catalysts, Enzymatic Catalysts
Companies covered:

BASF SE, Evonik Industries AG, Clariant AG, DuPont de Nemours, Inc., Albemarle Corporation, Arkema SA, Johnson Matthey PLC, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, Honeywell International Inc., Shell Catalysts & Technologies, W. R. Grace & Co., Haldor Topsoe A/S, Dow Chemical Company, CRI Catalyst Company, and Sud-Chemie India Pvt. Ltd. (Clariant India Ltd.).

Growth Drivers:
  • Advancements in Material Formulations
  • Increasing Adoption of 3D Printing Technology
  • Customization and On-Demand Manufacturing
  • Cost and Time Savings
Restraints & Challenges:
  • Material Properties and Performance Limitations
  • Cost of Materials
  • Intellectual Property and Material Formulations

Biodiesel Catalyst Market Trends:

  • Technological Advancements: The biodiesel catalyst market is witnessing continuous advancements in catalyst technologies. Researchers and catalyst manufacturers are exploring novel catalyst formulations, improving catalyst performance, and optimizing catalyst selectivity to enhance biodiesel production processes. Advancements include the development of heterogeneous catalysts, enzyme-based catalysts, and catalysts tailored for specific feedstocks or production conditions.
  • Transition to Solid Catalysts: Solid catalysts, particularly solid acid catalysts, are gaining attention in the biodiesel industry. Compared to liquid catalysts, solid catalysts offer benefits such as easier separation, reduced wastewater generation, and improved catalyst reusability. Solid catalysts also mitigate some of the challenges associated with traditional liquid catalysts, such as catalyst poisoning and corrosion.
  • Focus on Catalyst Stability and Longevity: Catalyst stability and longevity are crucial factors for cost-effective and sustainable biodiesel production. Catalyst manufacturers are working on developing catalysts that exhibit high stability, can withstand varying feedstock qualities, and maintain catalytic activity over prolonged periods of operation. This trend aims to improve process efficiency, reduce catalyst replacement costs, and enhance overall biodiesel production economics.
  • Tailored Catalysts for Non-Traditional Feedstocks: The availability and utilization of non-traditional feedstocks in biodiesel production, such as waste oils, algae, and cellulosic biomass, are on the rise. Catalyst manufacturers are developing catalyst formulations and systems optimized for these specific feedstocks, ensuring efficient conversion and maximum yield of biodiesel from diverse and non-food feedstock sources.

Biodiesel Catalyst Market Restraints:

  • Feedstock Availability and Competition: The availability and cost of suitable feedstocks for biodiesel production are critical factors. Competition between biodiesel production and other industries, such as food and feed, can limit the availability and increase the cost of feedstocks. Limited feedstock availability hampers biodiesel production and, subsequently, the demand for biodiesel catalysts.
  • Volatility in Feedstock Prices: Fluctuations in the prices of feedstocks, particularly vegetable oils and animal fats, can pose challenges for biodiesel production economics. Price volatility makes it difficult to predict biodiesel production costs and profitability, which can impact the demand for catalysts and overall market growth.
  • Uncertain Policy Environment: The biodiesel industry is heavily influenced by government policies and regulations. Changes in policy frameworks, including blending mandates, tax incentives, and sustainability criteria, can introduce uncertainty and affect market dynamics. Shifting regulatory landscapes can create challenges for biodiesel producers and impact the demand for catalysts.

Analyst View

  • The biodiesel catalyst market is poised to grow at a significant rate over the forecast period. The rapid adoption of biodiesel as a cleaner alternative fuel for diesel engines is a key driver for the catalyst market. Many countries are setting mandatory blending targets for biodiesel to reduce fossil fuel emissions. This is increasing the demand for biodiesel production and subsequently the need for catalysts. Additionally, advancements in catalyst technologies to improve the trans esterification process are making biodiesel production more efficient and cost-effective.
  • However, fluctuations in agricultural commodity prices can impact the availability and cost of biodiesel feedstock. This acts as a restraint on consistent biodiesel production volumes. The catalyst market is also impacted by the availability of used cooking oil and alternative low-cost feedstock’s. Furthermore, competing renewable fuel mandates and technological advancements in battery electric vehicles pose a threat to biodiesel demand over the long term.
  • The Asia Pacific region, led by China, Indonesia, and Thailand, is expected to dominate the biodiesel catalyst market owing to large biodiesel production capacities. Government initiatives to promote biodiesel consumption and self-sufficiency in energy are driving the APAC market. North America and Europe will also witness significant demand for catalysts to meet biodiesel blending mandates. On the other hand, regions with abundant feedstock availability like

Recent Developments

New product launches

  • BASF Launches Evolve50: In 2020, BASF launched Evolve 50, a new biodiesel catalyst that offers improved performance and flexibility in various feedstock types. It is designed to provide high activity and stability, enabling efficient and sustainable biodiesel production.
  • Neste Launches NExBTL™ Catalyst: Neste, a leading producer of renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel, has been continuously improving its NExBTL™ While not a recent launch, their proprietary catalyst system has demonstrated high efficiency and selectivity for the production of renewable diesel, which can also be used as a biodiesel blend component.

Acquisition and partnerships

  • In June 2022, BASF announced the acquisition of Clariant's entire catalysts business to strengthen its position in the catalyst market
  • In 2021, Evonik and Siemens Energy announced a partnership to develop a process for producing biodiesel from carbon dioxide and renewable electricity

Figure 2. Global Biodiesel Catalyst Market Share (%), by Catalyst Type, 2023


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Top Companies in Biodiesel Catalyst Market

  • Evonik Industries AG
  • Clariant AG
  • DuPont de Nemours, Inc.
  • Albemarle Corporation
  • Arkema SA
  • Johnson Matthey PLC
  • Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation
  • Honeywell International Inc.
  • Shell Catalysts & Technologies
  • W. R. Grace & Co.
  • Haldor Topsoe A/S
  • Dow Chemical Company
  • CRI Catalyst Company
  • Sud-Chemie India Pvt. Ltd. (Clariant India Ltd.)

*Definition: A biodiesel catalyst is a substance or material that facilitates and accelerates the chemical reactions involved in the production of biodiesel. It acts as a catalyst to convert vegetable oils, animal fats, or recycled cooking oils into biodiesel through a process called transesterification. Biodiesel catalysts help increase reaction rates, improve conversion efficiency, and ensure the production of high-quality biodiesel fuel. They play a crucial role in enabling the sustainable and efficient production of biodiesel as a renewable and cleaner alternative to conventional diesel fuel.

Frequently Asked Questions

Limited feedstock availability and fluctuating prices, Uncertain policy environment, Technological challenges are the key factors hampering the growth of the biodiesel catalyst market

Government regulations and incentives, Environmental concerns and renewable energy goals, Availability of diverse feedstocks, Volatility in crude oil prices are the major factors driving the market growth

The leading component segment is homogeneous catalysts.

Major players include BASF SE, Evonik Industries AG, Clariant AG, DuPont de Nemours, Inc., Albemarle Corporation, Arkema SA, Johnson Matthey PLC, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, Honeywell International Inc., Shell Catalysts & Technologies, W. R. Grace & Co., Haldor Topsoe A/S, Dow Chemical Company, CRI Catalyst Company, and Sud-Chemie India Pvt. Ltd. (Clariant India Ltd.).

North America region will lead the market.

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