Bio-based lubricants are primarily triglyceride esters which are derived from animal and plant oils and are formulated using renewable and biodegradable base stocks. They can be formulated using a range of natural sources such as low grade and solid fats or waste materials, but are generally based on vegetable oils (palm oil, castor oil, sunflower oil). A typical bio-based lubricant is readily biodegradable (decomposed within one year; through natural biological processes in water, carbon dioxide and carbonaceous land or under standard industrial composting environment) and is non toxic when disposed in the environment. Bio-based lubricants, if used instead of mineral oils reduce the risk of pollution.
Vegetable sources of biolubricants include palm oil, castor oil, sunflower oil, canola, and soybean oil. They are used in various applications due to their environmentally friendly characteristics (non-toxic, renewable, and biodegradable) due to which they can be easily disposed into the external environment. Some of the major applications of bio-based lubricants are automotive oils, hydraulic oil, process oil, demolding oils, lubricating greases, chainsaw oils, compressor oils, turbine oils, industrial gear oils, and metal working oils. Major end user industries are power, automotive, elevators, military, agriculture, construction, marine, and forestry.
Increasing regulatory pressure on synthetic lubricants is one of the primary reasons for the growth of bio-based lubricants. Higher pricing is one of the main restraints in the growth of bio-based lubricants market. A bio-based lubricant is around 1.5 to 2 times costlier than mineral oil lubricant, which ultimately makes market penetration a critical issue. Lack of awareness among people related to the benefits of bio-based lubricants is also a major restraint for the growth of bio-based lubricants market especially in developing regions.
Key participants in the biolubricants market include Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil, British Petroleum, Chevron, Castrol, Total, United Bio Lube, and Statoil Lubricants.
The bio-based lubricants or bio-lubricants market is composed of biodegradable and non-toxic lubricants that are regarded as being more eco-friendly than synthetic lubricants. Just like their synthetic counterparts, biolubricants are used in a myriad of applications. The study on the global biolubricants market answers important questions faced by stakeholders in this industry.
It discusses the factors leading to the expansion of the overall market, as well as potential growth inhibitors. Our analysts provide recommendations on how to mitigate the impact of barriers to growth, besides marking out opportunities that will bring accelerated growth to industry players over the forecast period. The report also takes a look at the top performing products within the biolubricants market in the past, and predicts products that will gain a wider share of the market in the coming years. Other insightful aspects such as the top-performing end-use segments and the most promising regional markets have been assessed in detail.
The biolubricants market report adopts techniques such as Porter’s five forces analyses which support our extensive secondary and primary research efforts.
Overview of the biolubricants market
The study estimates that the biolubricants market, which was valued at US$1,713.2 million in 2011, will register a moderate CAGR of 4.9% from 2011 through 2017, by when it is expected to stand at US$2,377.5 million.
Although it is more environment-friendly, a biolubricant typically costs nearly twice as much as synthetic or mineral oil lubricants. This makes the issue of market penetration especially critical to the global biolubricants market. This market faces stringent regulations that have been imposed by various government bodies worldwide. Adherence to these varying types and degrees of regulations in different geographical regions requires meticulous planning on the part of manufacturers and distributors alike. Hence, gaining a closer view of the current and projected market for biolubricants in various regions can prove to be a game-changer for many companies.
Besides the regulatory aspect, biolubricant companies need to constantly look for ways and means to bring down the costs of their products if they are to compete with mineral oil lubricants and other synthetic lubricants. This problem can be mitigated to some extent by creating wider awareness about the many benefits of bio-lubes among consumers. In developing countries, cost-sensitive consumers – despite being aware of the advantages – may still show initial resistance in switching over to biolubricants.
Biolubricants market projections by geography and applications
According to the findings of the study, North America is the largest market, by geography, for the biolubricants industry. This region will continue to maintain a leading position in the market until 2018. It is estimated that North America will constitute a significant 38.1% of the global market share of bio-lubricants in 2018. In the North American region, biolubricants will register a CAGR of 5.6% and a CAGR of 7.4% by revenue and volume, respectively, from 2013 through 2018.
This region will be followed by Europe, where Germany will play a major role in boosting the market for biolubricants.
The automotive oils segment will be the most dominant application in terms of revenue, in the global biolubricants market. Revenue in this segment will see a 5% CAGR from 2013 through 2018. Besides automotive oils, the hydraulic oils market will also report a noteworthy CAGR of about 6.7% through the forecast period of the report.
Companies mentioned in the biolubricants market
The global biolubricants market is consolidated, as a handful of top players control over 60% of the market. Leading names that are profiled in this report include: United Bio Lube, Royal Dutch Shell, British Petroleum, Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Total, Castrol, and Statoil Lubricants.
Major geographies analyzed under this research report are:
- North America
- Rest of the World
This report gives you access to decisive data such as:
- Market growth drivers
- Factors limiting market growth
- Current market trends
- Market structure
- Market projections for the coming years
Key highlights of this report
- Overview of key market forces propelling and restraining market growth
- Up-to-date analyses of market trends and technological improvements in the market
- Pin-point analyses of market competition dynamics to offer you a competitive edge
- An analysis of strategies of major competitors
- An array of graphics and SWOT analysis of major industry segments
- Detailed analyses of industry trends
- A well-defined technological growth map with an impact-analysis
- Offers a clear understanding of the competitive landscape and key product segments
Biolubricants are primarily triglyceride esters derived from plants and animals. Materials derived from vegetables are preferred for lubricant based oil. Common ones include high oleic canola oil, castor oil, palm oil, sunflower seed oil and rapeseed oil from vegetables, and tall oil from tree sources. Many vegetable oils are often hydrolyzed to yield acids which are subsequently combined selectively to form specialist synthetic esters. Other naturally derived lubricants include lanolin (wool grease, a natural water repellent).
Biolubricants are a very small part of the overall lubricant market, predominantly used in the US and Europe, as their high costs – over double the price of standard lubricants – limits their appeal elsewhere. Even within Europe, legislation and regulation varies between country to country, but overall, the use of biolubricants is encouraged. The US has established a ‘Bio-preferred products’ programme which, once fully integrated, will make it a legal requirement to select environmentally friendly lubricants over petroleum based ones, and further increase demand.
Hydraulic fluids are the largest segment for the US and Europe, with cutting oil also expected to exhibit continuous growth. The Bio 2 Cycle Engine Oils segment is likely to record growth of 12% P/A to 2018. The biolubricants market is expected to take an increased share in the lubricant market over time, as although petroleum based products are cheaper, well known and highly stable, they do not offer the advantages of being biodegradable and non-toxic. High performance, ‘environmentally-friendly’ lubricants are therefore highly sought after, and represent a distinct opportunity.
America is observed to be the highest consumer of biolubricants. The North American biolubricants market is expected to show a demand of 243,327 tons by 2017, spurred by legislative initiatives, sustained demand from hydraulic fluids market and growth potential of product types. Currently, biolubricants usage is primarily restricted to developed markets of North America and Europe, with lack of awareness and high pricing posing major hurdles to widespread appeal and usage in other parts of the world. In the future, increasing environmental concerns and emphasis on shift from non-biodegradable lubricants to the environmentally safe and ‘green’ biolubricants will drive high-powered growth.
There are several factors driving the biodegradable markets - National Legislation drives the growth in the European biolubricants market. The European markets are driven by environmental awareness and fiscal incentives on use of biolubricants. The increased commitment by European countries and the EU to promote products based on renewable materials and protect the environment has resulted in the biolubricants products experiencing restricted, but steady growth.
However, high price of biolubricants restrains the market expansion. The market has not yet achieved the economies of scale and the high retail prices are restraining the growth. The lack of consumer awareness and public misconception is another restraint which hampers the growth of biolubricants markets.
The key players in the biolubricants markets are BP Plc (UK), BP Lubricants USA, Inc. (USA), Chevron Corporation (US), Cargill, Incorporated (US), ExxonMobil Corporation (USA), Esso S.A.F. (France),Eurol BV (The Netherlands), Fuchs Petrolub AG (Germany), Henkel Corporation (US),Miller Oils Ltd. (UK), Royal Dutch Shell Plc (The Netherlands), SOPUS Products (USA) and Statoil Lubricants (Sweden)
This market research report analyzes important market segments, and major geographies. This report is a complete study of current trends in the market, industry growth drivers, and restraints. It provides market projections for the coming years. It includes analysis of recent developments in technology, Porter’s five force model analysis and detailed profiles of top industry players. The report also includes a review of micro and macro factors essential for the existing market players and new entrants along with detailed value chain analysis.
The major regions analyzed under this research study are North America, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and the Rest of the World.