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A look inside the world of rapidly renewable materials. 

Bamboo Material Potential Still Has Huge Space, Looking Ahead to 2024 Market Trends

In 2023 China introduced a series of policies that elevated the application of bamboo materials to a whole new level, which on the one hand illustrates the promising future of bamboo materials, and on the other hand also indicates the huge potential in the future. When 2024 comes quietly, what are the already visible trend changes for the bamboo material industry sector? Let's discuss with you through this content.

altPlus LVB Engineering Bamboo

The Built Environment, Bamboo in Architecture | A sustainable material with potential

altPlus Project in Lingang, Shanghai

In recent years, more and more people are realising that the use of bamboo is not only a visually "beautiful and environmentally friendly" material, but also a thoroughly sustainable way of development. Bamboo's short cycle time and ability to absorb more carbon dioxide, its environmentally friendly cultivation, and the wide range of applications for the material have led to the realisation that bamboo is truly an "eco-friendly" material. With the pursuit of sustainable development and the increasing demand for environmentally friendly products, the market for bamboo is very promising.

Internationally, various standards are constantly updated to promote the application of bamboo. For example, the International Organisation for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR) has recently released a new international standard for engineered bamboo through the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), ISO 5257:2023 Bamboo Structures - Test Methods for the Mechanical Properties of Small Specimens of Engineered Bamboo Products, which provides an alternative to ISO 23478 for users around the world. On the one hand, the new standard and on the other hand, there are active attempts to cultivate bamboo. Trials of bamboo cultivation are currently underway in Southern Europe, aiming to determine which species of bamboo can be grown under such climatic conditions. If the trials are successful, bamboo may be used as a building material for UK houses in the future.

However, compared to traditional timber and other alternative materials, bamboo has been less publicised and promoted, resulting in poor public understanding and low willingness to use it. Secondly, bamboo is relatively expensive and is in short supply for general access. This makes the competitiveness of bamboo material relatively weak in the market, however, the cost and standardisation issue is being addressed and brought in-line with more conventional timber products, while also having much more room for cost decrease compared to the mature conventional materials. Another issue is the processing and handling technology of bamboo is perceived as being complex, although it requires only the similar professional knowledge and skills of engineered wood. This discourages some manufacturers and consumers. Cultural and aesthetic preferences in some regions favour traditional wood and are less receptive to bamboo. The above mentioned reasons are restraining the development of bamboo and a change in public perception is urgently needed so that the accelerated adoption of these materials may take place.

Where will the bamboo market go in 2024?

altPlus Bamboo in an international school building project

According to the analysis and forecast of China Business Industry Research Institute, in 2024, China's bamboo forest production will reach 5.1 billion roots, bamboo pulp production increased to 2.96 million tons, bamboo fibre market increased to 1.26 billion yuan. From the upstream and downstream industry chain will have a significant growth than in 2023, and in three areas visible market growth rate is huge.

alternative areas to increase

In the past, bamboo materials to collect technical constraints, often a single field of use, such as: decorative items, decorative materials, auxiliary materials, etc., with the breakthrough in technology, bamboo materials into more and more areas, especially in the field of construction materials, the birth of engineering bamboo gradually replaced the heavy energy consumption of steel, concrete, etc.. The biopolymer processed with bamboo fibre combined with PEP material is also applied to various packaging materials. In the replacement of paper, the world's largest paper suppliers have now tested and adjusted their production lines to accept bamboo chips as the raw material combined with wood chips.

Global technology for research and development

Through the continuous advancement of global technology in bamboo applications, the future technological applications of bamboo materials have come a long way, e.g.: Improvement of bamboo processing technology: Through the improvement of bamboo processing technology, the strength, durability and anticorrosion properties of bamboo can be improved, making it more suitable for use in construction and furniture manufacturing. Research and development of bamboo composite materials: By compositing bamboo with other materials (e.g. plastics, metals, etc.), more durable and multifunctional materials can be obtained, expanding the range of bamboo applications. Improvement of bamboo fibres: By improving the structure and properties of bamboo fibres, it is possible to improve the performance of bamboo in applications such as textiles and paper manufacturing. Bamboo biomass energy use: bamboo can be used as raw material for biomass energy, through the development of efficient bamboo biomass conversion technology, can improve the efficiency of energy use.

Acceleration of regulation and standardisation

In bamboo-rich China, local governments have long had several standards or norms to promote the acceleration of bamboo applications. As early as 2022, China launched the "Engineering Bamboo Structure Design Standard", "Engineering Bamboo Structure Construction and Quality Acceptance Standard", "Engineering Bamboo Structure Inspection Standard" to lay the foundation for the application of bamboo in the construction field. On the global front, countries are also actively pursuing legislation related to the application of bamboo. 

Bamboo has great potential as an environmentally friendly and sustainable material. As the demand for environmentally friendly products increases, the bamboo market will see more opportunities and challenges. It is expected that by 2024, the application of bamboo in construction, furniture and decoration will be further expanded. Meanwhile, technological innovation and international market expansion will also drive the development of the bamboo material industry. Let's witness the bright future of bamboo material industry together!


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