Sales of enzymes in the U.S. are set to increase 4.8%/year, to $2.8 billion in 2014, according to research by Freedonia Group (Cleveland, OH), a market research firm. Much of the growth will come from the increasing use of enzymes for pharmaceutical applications, and to a lesser extent for processing cellulosic ethanol. Carbohydrases will continue to be the largest selling enzyme product type.
To date, the biofuels enzyme product mix has been dominated by alpha amylases and glucoamylases used in conventional starch-based ethanol processing. Through 2014, gains will moderate as the industry undergoes a transition to cellulases and related enzymes for producing cellulosic ethanol. This will be followed by a return to stronger growth led by cellulases as the U.S. nears the federally mandated production level of 8.5 billion gallons of cellulosic ethanol in 2019, Freedonia says.
Specialty enzymes are becoming more important and will pace overall growth in enzyme demand. Industrial enzymes will continue to see advances in markets such as pulp and paper processing, animal feed, cosmetics and toiletries, and cleaning products.