3-Hydroxybutyrolactone is a cyclic C4 compound produced by multiple chemical transformations. The arrangement of molecule is in such a way that it forms a total of 12 bonds including 6 non-H bonds, a double bond, multiple bond, four-membered ring, and an ester. 3-Hydroxybutyrolactone is a building block produced from sugar that can be formulated into various high value bio-based chemicals or materials. The chemical synthesis of the compound is a relatively complex process due to the involvement of multiple steps, and it cannot be produced via fermentation. It is obtained from malic acid (2-hydroxysuccinic), which when cyclized, gives hydroxysuccinic anhydride. Hydroxybutyrolactone is obtained via further reduction of hydroxysuccinic anhydride. The production process of 3-Hydroxybutyrolactone is a relatively complex, time-consuming, long, and expensive. Thus, there remains a need for substitutes for the same or for different cost-effective processes to obtain 3-Hydroxybutrolactone.

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3-Hydroxybutyrolactone is mostly used in the market, for the derivative compounds such as new polymers, which can be obtained from it. 3-Hydroxybutyrolactone is majorly employed in the pharmaceutical industry as a raw material for the production of different pharmaceuticals. This includes its usage as a building block in the production of statin class cholesterol reducing drugs such as Crestor, Lipitor, and antibiotic drugs such as Zyvox. It is also utilized in the production of anti-hyperlipidemic drugs such as Zetia. Furthermore, some high valued HIV inhibitors and nutritional supplements such as L-carnitine are formulated from 3-Hydroxybutyrolactone.

Therefore, currently, it is treated in the market as a specialty chemical, and is produced only for high-value uses with a wholesale cost of $ 450/Kg, and hence, it is not produced as a commodity chemical intermediate. Moreover, the production process of 3-Hydroxybutrolactone involves the usage of expensive starting materials, reagents, catalysts, purification processes, and hazardous processing conditions, adding to the overall total cost. Additionally, the quality of the yield produced out of the production process is poor, and it leads to the formation of by-products, which are difficult to separate.

In terms of geography, the 3-Hydroxybutyrolactone market can be divided into North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa. Currently, North America contributes a major share of the global 3-Hydroxybutyrolactone market. Asia Pacific is projected to dominate the global 3-Hydroxybutyrolactone market during the forecast period, due to the expansion of its end-user industry in the region. The pharmaceutical industry in Asia Pacific is anticipated to expand significantly in the near future. This, in turn, is expected to boost the 3-hydroxybutyrolactone market in the region. Moreover, the pharmaceutical industry in Latin America is anticipated to expand at a steady pace during the forecast period. Thus, the 3-Hydroxybutyrolactone market in Latin America is estimated to expand at a considerable growth rate during the forecast period.

Major players operating in the global 3-Hydroxybutyrolactone market are Avanscure Lifesciences Pvt. Ltd., A. B. Enterprises, Kalion Inc., and Kaneka Corporation.

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The 3-Hydroxybutyrolactone market is projected to provide lucrative opportunities, especially in Asia Pacific, led by the expansion of the pharmaceutical industry in the region. Rise in population and increase in diseases in developing and underdeveloped countries in Asia Pacific are fuelling the need for better medical facilities. However, due to the expensive production processes, there remains a need for innovative biotechnological ways to develop low cost fermentation routes.

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