In the ongoing quest for sustainable chemical production, the development of bio-based monopropylene glycol (MPG) stands out as a pivotal innovation. As industries globally strive to reduce their carbon footprints, the transition from petroleum-based to bio-based chemicals represents a crucial step towards achieving a decarbonized world. However, this transition is fraught with challenges that need to be navigated to realize the full potential of bio-based MPG.

What is Bio-Based Monopropylene Glycol?

Bio-based mono-propylene glycol is a sustainable alternative to traditional, petroleum-derived mono-propylene glycol. It is produced from renewable resources such as glycerol, which is a byproduct of biodiesel production, and other plant-based feedstocks. Monopropylene glycol is a versatile chemical used in various applications, including pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, food processing, and antifreeze formulations. The bio-based variant offers the same functionalities as its petroleum-based counterpart but with the added benefits of being derived from renewable sources and having a lower environmental impact.

The Innovation and Its Impact

Bio-based monopropylene glycol is derived from renewable resources such as glycerol, a byproduct of biodiesel production, and other plant-based feedstocks. This shift from fossil fuels to bio-based sources not only reduces dependency on non-renewable resources but also significantly cuts greenhouse gas emissions associated with traditional MPG production.

Key Benefits of Bio-Based MPG:

  1. Reduced Carbon Footprint: By sourcing raw materials from renewable resources, bio-based MPG production inherently lowers carbon emissions compared to its petroleum-based counterpart.
  2. Sustainable Resource Utilization: Utilizes waste products and renewable resources, promoting a circular economy and minimizing environmental impact.
  3. Enhanced Biodegradability: Bio-based MPG tends to be more environmentally friendly due to its biodegradability, reducing the long-term environmental impact.

Challenges in the Transition

Despite its potential benefits, the road to widespread adoption of bio-based MPG is not without hurdles. The key challenges include:

  1. Economic Viability: Producing bio-based MPG can be more expensive than its petroleum-based counterpart due to the current cost of raw materials and processing technologies. This cost disparity poses a significant barrier to widespread adoption.
  2. Scalability: Ensuring a consistent and large-scale supply of bio-based raw materials is challenging. The agricultural and biofuel industries must scale up production sustainably without compromising food supply or biodiversity.
  3. Technical Barriers: Refining the technology to efficiently convert biomass into high-purity MPG is an ongoing challenge. Innovations in biotechnology and chemical engineering are critical to overcoming these technical barriers.
  4. Market Acceptance: Convincing industries to switch to bio-based MPG requires demonstrating its performance parity with traditional MPG, alongside highlighting its environmental benefits.

Applications of Bio-Based MPG

Bio-based MPG holds promise across various sectors due to its versatile applications:

  1. Automotive Industry: Used in antifreeze and coolant formulations, bio-based MPG can help reduce the carbon footprint of vehicle maintenance products.
  2. Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care: Utilized as a solvent and humectant, bio-based MPG offers a sustainable alternative for products ranging from medicines to cosmetics.
  3. Food and Beverage: Approved for use in food processing, bio-based MPG serves as a safe and eco-friendly additive.

Comparison with Petroleum-Based MPG


  • Bio-Based MPG: Derived from renewable sources like glycerol, reducing reliance on finite fossil fuels.
  • Petroleum-Based MPG: Produced from petroleum, contributing to resource depletion and higher carbon emissions.

Environmental Impact:

  • Bio-Based MPG: Lower greenhouse gas emissions and reduced environmental footprint due to renewable sourcing and biodegradability.
  • Petroleum-Based MPG: Higher emissions and environmental impact due to extraction and processing of fossil fuels.


  • Bio-Based MPG: Promotes a circular economy by utilizing waste and renewable resources.
  • Petroleum-Based MPG: Limited by the sustainability issues associated with fossil fuel extraction and usage.

Global Market Outlook

The global market for bio-based MPG is poised for significant growth, driven by increasing demand for sustainable chemical products and regulatory pressures to reduce carbon emissions. Analysts project substantial market expansion, with innovations in bio-processing and advancements in biotechnology playing key roles in overcoming current challenges.

Market Projections:

In 2023, the bio-based MPG market was valued at USD 2.5 billion and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12% from 2024 to 2030. This growth is fueled by technological advancements, regulatory support for sustainable chemicals, and a global shift towards green manufacturing practices.

Key players in this field:

Several pioneering companies are at the forefront of developing bio-based MPG, driving the industry toward a more sustainable future:

  • Cargill: Known for their innovations in bio-industrial solutions, Cargill focuses on producing bio-based chemicals that offer both environmental and economic benefits.
  • (Archer Daniels Midland Company): ADM leverages its expertise in agricultural processing to produce high-quality bio-based MPG from renewable resources.
  • BASF: As a leader in chemical manufacturing, BASF is investing in research and development to enhance the efficiency and scalability of bio-based MPG production.


Bio-based monopropylene glycol represents a significant step towards a sustainable and decarbonized chemical industry. Despite the challenges of economic viability, scalability, and market acceptance, continued innovation and commitment to sustainability can overcome these hurdles. As the market for bio-based MPG grows, it promises to play a crucial role in reducing carbon emissions and promoting a circular economy. By harnessing renewable resources, leading companies and technological advancements are set to drive the transformation towards a greener future.

Related Posts