The bio-industrial sector mainly comprises of enzymes that have multiple industrial uses and the generation of bio-energy through sources such as biomass and bio-fuels.
Enzymes are used in different industrial processes, be it in biopharmaceutical, food and nutrition, textile, leather and green chemicals (i.e. polymers derived using bio-based enzymes.)
The enzymes sector is growing, fuelled by the steadily rising Indian middle class economy, where there is a growing tendency towards an increasing depending on food, drugs, textiles and leather products. Novozymes, the biggest player in this sector is rapidly expanding its presence in India by developing the enzymes sector for the food, beverages and home-care market.
- Bio-energy in India could be derived from incinerating biomass from agricultural produce, agricultural waste, and forestry products, or from the production of bio-fuels using agricultural products, jatropha plantation, neem forestry or algal resources. India was the fourth largest energy consumer in 2009 and her demands in this space have been rising constantly. While coal, oil and gas dominate the Indian energy sector, biomass is still a prevalent energy resource in the rural parts of India - renewable sources such as biomass and agricultural waste constitute 24% of the energy consumption in India. Hence, there are emerging initiatives to promote complete utilization of biomass resources in rural parts to efficiently meet their energy demand as bioremediation techniques.
- Algal Resources are gaining in importance as the preferred alternative bio-fuel resource since the cultivation of algae requires non-agricultural land. Other advantages of algal resources include their low requirement of land space, fast reproduction cycles, their ability to grow under varied environmental conditions and their capacity to be cultured in places with brackish, saline and waste water. Thus algal resources can be effectively cultured on a large scale for production of bio-ethanol and bio-diesel.
- Bioremediation essentially involves the use of micro-organisms to degrade toxic waste products to less hazardous substances in the environment. Industrialization and extractive industries such as iron ore and coal mining have increasingly affected the environment in an adverse manner by generating organic as well as inorganic pollutants. This has eventually become a serious hazard to the ecosystem, and in turn to all its inhabitants. It is therefore essential to develop novel strategies to de-contaminate the environment and ensure long term sustenance of a balanced ecosystem. As industrial pollutants continue to be a growing a menace for the environment, bioremediation techniques are emerging as potential solutions to address these issues.
The bio-industrial sector in India registered an 8% growth in its revenues with total sales of $142 million. Multinationals contribute about 65 % of the market while the rest is met by the local players. However, the share of local players has been increasing over the last three-to-four years as these companies realize the huge potential of food enzymes. Companies are enhancing their R&D facilities and staff, establishing manufacturing plants, and a comprehensive distribution network. In addition to importing enzymes for different purposes, India also exports enzymes. The domestic consumption of enzymes for 2011-12 stood at about $110 million, while the exports raked $32 million in revenues during this period.
Key Indian players in this segment include Novozymes, contributing 50% of the total market share, followed by Advanced Enzymes, Rossari Biotech, Richcore, Zytex and Maps India. In this export-oriented industry, the major markets include Europe and the US, China and other Asian countries. While multinational corporations dominate this industry in India, the emergence of new domestic players like Sea6 Energy is predicted to drive the future of this segment in India. Developments in the Indian sub-sectors of the bio-industrial space are detailed in the following segments.
As the enzymes industry is largely export-driven, more companies are capitalizing on opportunities abroad. For example, Advanced Enzymes established direct export in more than 59 countries across the globe and soon plan to set up their subsidiaries in the European and Chinese markets. Biotech companies in this space are also gradually shifting their focus towards the manufacture of cellulosic enzymes that aid the production of bio-fuels. But there is tremendous potential to explore technologies associated with bioenergy, Algae research and bioremediation.