Global Recyclable Thermoset Market 2021
The global recyclable thermoset market is projected to reach $987.9 million by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 7.01% during the forecast period of 2022-2031. The market growth is driven by advancements in thermoset recycling technologies, investments and collaboration in the plastic recycling industry, and regulations promoting plastic recycling in various countries. However, challenges such as the complex process of thermoset recycling and the lack of infrastructure for hard-to-recycle products restrain the market.
The growth of the recyclable thermoset market is fueled by advancements in thermoset recycling technologies on a global scale. These technologies enable the breakdown of thermoset polymers into useful building blocks for reuse in the production of new products. As the plastic industry is a significant contributor to carbon emissions, many countries have implemented regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The recyclable thermoset market plays a crucial role in achieving a greener future by decarbonizing processes in the thermoset plastic value chain. Companies in the plastic industry are actively implementing solutions to reduce carbon emissions and decrease landfill waste. However, the complex process of thermoset recycling and the lack of infrastructure for recycling hard-to-recycle products pose challenges to the growth of the recyclable thermoset market. To address these challenges, ongoing research and development efforts aim to lower recycling costs and develop new recycling technologies.
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USD 491.1 billion in 2020
Application, Resin Type, Technology, Region
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The global recyclable thermoset market is in a phase of growth, with new trends emerging. These trends include a growing focus on sustainability in the wind energy sector, changes in business models due to climate action, and the substitution of virgin materials with recyclable thermosets in various end-use applications. These trends provide opportunities for the market to expand in the coming years.
The increasing emphasis on sustainability and the use of bio-based renewable materials globally have led to a shift towards advanced recyclable materials in various industries. This shift is particularly prominent in the construction, automotive, and energy sectors in regions like Europe, North America, and China.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a mixed impact on the global recyclable thermoset market. While sectors such as energy and consumer electronics appliances experienced positive growth during the pandemic, the demand from industries like automotive, construction, and aerospace was adversely affected due to the economic slowdown.
Demand drivers for the global recyclable thermoset market include advancements in thermoset recycling technologies, regulations promoting plastic recycling, and investments and collaborations in the plastic recycling industry. On the other hand, challenges include the complex process of thermoset recycling and the lack of infrastructure for recycling hard-to-recycle products.
The market is segmented based on various factors, including application, resin type, technology, and region.
Segmentation by Application
Energy and Power
Electrical and Electronics
Aerospace and Defense
Segmentation by Resin Type
Unsaturated Polyester Resin (UPR)
Phenol Formaldehyde (Phenolic Resin)
Segmentation by Technology
Energy Recovery (Thermal)
Segmentation by Region
North America – U.S., Canada, and Mexico
Europe – Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and Rest-of-Europe
Asia-Pacific and Japan – Japan, South Korea, India, and Rest-of-Asia Pacific and Japan
Rest-of-the-World – Middle East and Africa and South America
The construction segment emerged as the dominant application, holding a significant share in the global recyclable thermoset market in 2021. This trend is expected to continue during the forecast period from 2022 to 2031, with construction projected to remain the largest application. The demand for recyclable thermosets and thermoset composites has notably increased in the construction industry, particularly in areas such as buildings, doors and windows, hotels, towers, highway bridges, tunnels, and water treatment plants. This growing demand in the construction sector has been a major driving force behind the overall market growth.
In terms of product type, the unsaturated polyester resin (UPR) segment dominated the global recyclable thermoset market in 2021. UPR resin is widely used across various industrial applications and fulfills the requirements of major end users. The adoption of recyclable UPR has significantly increased due to the rising demand for sustainable solutions. Conventional UPR materials are challenging to recycle and have adverse effects on the environment. To address this issue, manufacturers have developed recyclable UPR resins that can be broken down and reused, reducing their environmental impact and promoting sustainability in the manufacturing process.
Mechanical recycling stood out as the dominant technology in the global recyclable thermoset market in 2021, holding the largest share. It is a key technique extensively employed in large-scale commercial production of recyclable thermosets. However, there has been a slight shift towards chemical recycling technology as an alternative to traditional mechanical recycling. Chemical processes offer several advantages, prompting a gradual technological transition in the market.
Europe emerged as the dominant region in the global recyclable thermoset market in 2021, commanding a significant share. The region is projected to maintain its leading position by 2031. Europe benefits from the presence of major recyclable thermoset manufacturers such as BASF SE, GAIKER Technology Center, MCR Mixt Composites Recyclables, and Mobius Technologies GmbH. The strong market position of these manufacturers enables increased recyclable thermoset production to meet the growing demand from various end-use industries. Furthermore, stringent environmental regulations, circular economy policies, and the commitment to achieve a net-zero carbon economy by 2050 have also contributed to the growth of the recyclable thermoset market in the region.
The selection of the profiled companies was based on input from primary experts and a comprehensive analysis of factors such as the company’s coverage, product portfolio, and market penetration.
Key companies profiled in this report include Mallinda Inc., MCR Mixt Composites Recyclables, INTCO Recycling Group, Adesso Advanced Materials Inc., Aditya Birla Chemicals, GAIKER Technology Center, Mobius Technologies GmbH, The Dow Chemical Company, BASF SE, ENSO Plastics, PolyCeramX, EcoActiv Pty Ltd, SPERO RENEWABLES, Northstar Recycling Company, Inc., Gr3n Recycling.
Recent Industry Developments
In November 2022, a collaboration was established between the Dow Chemical Company and WM, with the aim of improving the management of hard-to-recycle plastic films. Through this collaboration, WM would be able to divert approximately 120,000 metric tons of plastic waste from landfills.
In June 2022, BASF SE introduced PuriCycle, an enhanced series of high-performance products designed for the purification of complex mixed plastic pyrolysis feeds. The PuriCycle portfolio consists of innovative catalysts and adsorbents specifically developed to selectively remove and convert various contaminants present in pyrolysis oils, facilitating the separation process and enabling circular plastic flows. PuriCycle can assist companies in meeting industry compositional standards, providing efficient purification and upgrading solutions, and enhancing their flexibility in chemical recycling of plastics.
In June 2022, following a successful pilot phase in Nigeria, the Dow Chemical Company expanded its REFLEX initiative to Guinea and Egypt. This initiative aims to divert 10,000 metric tons of flexible packaging waste by the end of 2025, thereby contributing to a more sustainable approach to waste management in these regions.
Key Questions Answered
What are the primary factors and trends driving the growth of the recyclable thermoset market?
How has the global consumption/production of recyclable thermosets been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Which applications are leading the rapid adoption of recyclable thermosets?
Who are the key manufacturers/suppliers in the recyclable thermoset market in each country or region?
What are the latest developments in various countries that contribute to the growth of recyclable thermosets?
Which startups are focusing on the development of recyclable thermosets?
What governmental regulations/initiatives have contributed to the increased adoption of recyclable thermosets?
What are the major technologies used in the production of recyclable thermosets?
What are the different stages of the product life cycle for major applications of recyclable thermosets?
What are the major opportunities for companies contributing to the growth of the market?