Microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) is a renewable commodity and has various applications includes paper, packaging, pharmaceuticals, paints and coatings, personal care & cosmetics. MFC fiber plays a major role in bolstering paper-based products. It is increasingly gaining interest as a substitute to plastic, and thickening agents in paint and coating products.
The global microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) market is expected to surpass US$ 565.7 million by the end of 2028 in terms of revenue, exhibiting a CAGR of 13.84% during the forecast period (2021 to 2028).
Environmental concerns are increasing across the globe, the demand for sustainable environment-friendly products is also increasing. Conventional crude oil-based products tend to release relatively high amount of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) as compared to some other bio-based alternatives. In recent years, market players are focusing on research & development of sustainable and eco-friendly for the production of bio-based products with same properties as conventional. This is expected to boost the demand for microfibrillated cellulose, which in turn is expected to boost the market.
The use of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) is regulated by governments and environmental agencies. The U.S. Environment Protection Agency (US EPA), Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), and European Commission are some of the major organizations that control emissions of air and water pollution and hazardous waste for environmental welfare.
Among region, North America region accounted for the largest revenue share of 45.2% in the global microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) market in 2020 and is expected to maintain its dominance in the near future. The market in this region was valued at US$ 90.7 Mn in 2020 and is expected to witness a CAGR of 15.2% during the forecast period. The North America microfibrillated cellulose market is followed by Asia Pacific and Europe region.
Figure 1. Global Microfibrillated Cellulose (MFC) Market Revenue Share (%), By Region, 2020
Global Microfibrillated Cellulose (MFC) Market: Restraints
There are two major steps involved in manufacturing microfibrillated cellulose, namely pretreatment and nanofibrilation. In nanofibrilation, equipment such as high pressure homogenizers or micro fluidizers is used which consume excessive energy. Various physical, chemical, biological pretreatment processes are used to reduce energy consumption and improve process ability. Globally, companies are focusing on research and development of manufacturing processes to limit energy consumption and eliminate high production cost of microfibrillated cellulose. High energy requirements for production and high prices of raw materials increase the overall cost of production of microfibrillated cellulose and are expected to restrain the growth of the global microfibrillated cellulose market during the forecast period.
Microfibrillated cellulose has huge growth potential to replace plastic in packaging applications with increasing demand for environment-friendly materials. According to Coherent Market Insights’ analysis, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is the most preferred material for plastic bottles, and PET bottles market is estimated to reach US$ 70.32 billion by 2025. However, more research is required to develop commercial microfibrillated cellulose with excellent properties as plastic with competitive pricing.
|Base Year:||2020||Market Size in 2020:||US$ 200.6 Mn|
|Historical Data for:||2017 – 2019||Forecast Period:||2021 to 2028|
|Forecast Period 2021 to 2028 CAGR:||13.84%||2028 Value Projection:||US$ 565.7 Mn|
Borregaard Chemicals Company, Daicel Corporation, FiberLean Technologies Ltd, J. Rettenmaier & Söhne, Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd, Norske Skog ASA, Sappi Limited, Stora Enso Oyj, Weidmann Fiber Technology, and Zelfo Technology GmbH.
|Restraints & Challenges:||
Figure 2. Global Microfibrillated Cellulose Market – Opportunity Analysis
Among manufacturing process, the mechanical segment held 93.0% market share in the global microfibrillated cellulose market in 2020. In mechanical process, microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) is extracted from wood-based fibers by subjecting the pulp to strong shear forces, tearing the larger wood fibers apart into microfibers. High-pressure homogenizers, grinders, and micro fluidizers are commonly used for this purpose. This procedure requires a lot of energy which eventually increases the cost of production.
Figure 3. Global Microfibrillated Cellulose Market Revenue Share (%), By Manufacturing Process, 2020
Global Microfibrillated Cellulose Market - Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic
The global market for microfibrillated cellulose is impacted due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Several governments across the globe have imposed nationwide lockdowns to limit the spread of the virus, which resulted in the shutting down of businesses and ceasing of several economic activities. For instance, according to the International Monetary Fund’s 2020 report, the global economy contracted sharply by 3.0% in 2020, which is worse than the 2008-09 financial crisis. Moreover, the supply chain disruption has indirectly led to low demand for microfibrillated cellulose.
Key players operating in the global microfibrillated cellulose market include Borregaard Chemicals Company, Daicel Corporation, FiberLean Technologies Ltd, J. Rettenmaier & Söhne, Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd, Norske Skog ASA, Sappi Limited, Stora Enso Oyj, Weidmann Fiber Technology, and Zelfo Technology GmbH.
Microfibrillated cellulose is produced by mechanical treatment with or without enzymatic or chemical pre-treatment. The Microfibrillated cellulose consists of long and thin fibers, which form a three-dimensional network. MFC has high viscosity and yield stress, it is shear thinning and has high water holding capacity. The size distribution of the fibers is wide, and even if some fibers have diameters in nanoscale, there are a lot of bigger fibers as well. Moreover, the fibers are in a network structure and interconnected to each other.
The threat of climate change and environmental degradation is increasing day by day. The primary benefit of using microfibrillated cellulose is that it can bolster strength and reduce the weight of fiber materials in a sustainable manner, by generating end products with reduced material volumes, without compromising on performance. There is significant demand for microfibrillated cellulose in paper and packaging applications. However, microfibrillated cellulose market has not strongly developed in all other applications, which drive the players to focus on research and development of microfibrillated cellulose to meet specifications required for particular applications.
Microfibrillated cellulose are bio-based materials and are synthesized from wood pulp. This natural product caters to various industries including paper, packaging, and others. Thus, the increasing demand for biodegradable products is expected to drive the growth of the microfibrillated cellulose market globally during the forecast period. Microfibrillated cellulose are bio-based additive that improves rheology, stability, and has very high water retention capability. Growing demand for sustainable and green packaging solutions is expected to drive global microfibrillated cellulose market during the forecast period.
Microfibrillated cellulose are prepared by biosynthesis of monosaccharaides or the fermentation of cellulose fibers by using enzymes to reduce their size. This procedure is time consuming and require more expensive reagents. Microfibrillated cellulose are used as a natural performance enhancer for bio-based packaging material, offering stronger durability while also fulfilling international food safety standards, making it ideal for paper and packaging industry.
However, less awareness about microfibrillated cellulose in various emerging and underdeveloped countries is expected to restrain the market growth. The lack of universal directives pertaining to applications of microfibrillated cellulose is also restraining the market growth.
Key features of the study:
“*” marked represents similar segmentation in other categories in the respective section.