Bio-based phase change materials (PCMs) expected to gain significant market traction during the forecast period

Published Date: 2019-12-31


Phase change materials (PCMs) absorb thermal energy and release the stored energy when undergoing a phase transformation, thus maintaining the temperature difference between internal and external surroundings.

The implementation of PCMs in thermal energy storage systems in residential buildings and commercial office spaces have influenced the growth of the product demand positively, resulting in higher installation rates and rise in production volume of end-products.

The integration of PCMs in cold chain shipping and logistics of finished goods such as pharmaceutical products and frozen food items for retail sale is poised to present new opportunities of growth and market expansion of applications to key companies looking to strengthen market position. The PCM-integrated cooling solutions possess high heat storage capacity and thus witness low volume change during phase transformation, operating for extended periods in comparison to conventional electrical systems.

The report scope segments the market by type into organic PCM, inorganic PCM, and bio-based PCM. The market categorization by application includes Building & Construction, Energy Storage, HVAC, Shipping & Transportation, Electronics, Textile, and Others.

The ability of organic PCMs to be microencapsulated, which offer benefits of increased thermal and mechanical stability and reduce chemical reaction of end-products with the surroundings, is expected to influence the market demand of organic PCMs positively. The ease of compatibility of organic PCMs with traditional construction materials, coupled with the easy handling of finished goods, would propel the increased applications of products, further driving the growth of the market. The self-nucleating properties of organic PCMs, coupled with the ability to reach freezing temperatures without much undercooling, would provide new opportunities of application to the end-products as technological development of the underlying science continues at a rapid rate.

The technological development of phase change materials has increased product applications of finished goods which provide an additional boost to the overall market growth. Companies with advanced processing technologies are thus focused on the launch of new products in the commercial market to gain a competitive edge over other players. For instance, on January 08, 2019, Outlast Technologies LLC demonstrated technology for proactive temperature management and aims to release product innovations based on sustainable materials and new approaches that offer home textile brands more individuality and differentiation based on PCM-integrated products.

The rise in global warming has compelled countries to actively pursue climate change initiatives in the construction sector and integrate innovative materials in an attempt to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through temperature control and reduction in energy consumption. Buildings account for more than one-quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), according to the France-based Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GABC). Therefore, phase change materials provide an excellent solution as alternative building materials to reduce energy consumption through thermal energy storage systems.

While organic-based paraffin phase change materials remain relevant in a fast-evolving market, bio-based PCMs, extracted from natural resources such as vegetable oils, coconut oil, soybeans, and palm oils, are gaining significant market traction. Bio-based PCMs price and performance characteristics are superior to conventional PCMs owing to the relatively low cost of raw materials and multiple sites of chemical reaction helping in the production of a variety of premium products.

The technological development of thermal energy storage systems (TES) with the integration of latent-heat storage systems associated with phase-change materials for application in residential and commercial buildings, solar water heat pumps, and thermo-chemical storage systems is poised to provide newer avenues of the end-product demand during the forecast period.   

North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America, and Rest of the World (RoW) is covered under the geographical segmentation of the report. The market value in Europe was XX USD million in 2017, while the market value in North America for the same year was XX USD million. The PCM market scenario in Europe and North America is evolving at a rapid rate in an attempt to decrease energy consumption and greenhouse gas emission.

According to a November 2018 report published by Enerdata and Climate Transparency, Canada emitted 2.13 metric tons of carbon dioxide per capita in 2017, followed by Germany at 1.71 metric tons and United States at 1.55 metric tons per capita. The regional governments are thus emphasizing on the need for the adoption of PCM-integrated systems to curb the levels of greenhouse emissions and increase efforts of energy conservation. As such, the companies all over the world are now focused and keen on the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions using eco-friendly solutions, with the impregnation of PCMs into porous construction materials, such as plasterboard and concrete aimed at reducing the energy consumption of residential buildings.

DowDuPont Inc., Microtek Laboratories, Inc., Henkel AG, Rubitherm Technologies GmbH, Cryopak Industries Inc., Parker Hannifin Corporation, Croda International PLC, Honeywell Electronic Materials, Inc., Outlast Global GmbH, and Phase Change Energy Solutions LLC are the significant companies profiled in the report. The key market players focus on the technological development of end-products in a bid to increase technical performance, with R&D centers across the region trying to offer varied product features to increase its sales volume. The manufacturers strive to offer a diversified product portfolio, with a reduction in energy consumption in finished goods ensuring product differentiation between products distributed by existing market manufacturers. The strategic partnerships between companies are poised to offer new avenues of growth and business expansion to involved parties as a means to increase company revenue and sales volume. For instance, on February 5, 2018, German-based medical devices company Dräger announced a strategic partnership with Pluss(R) Advanced Technologies, producer of Neonate Cooler, based on savE(R) Phase Change Materials (PCMs). Other key business strategies of companies include business expansion into untapped regions, which would assist in strengthening company dominance throughout the forecast period from 2019 to 2026.

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