The global market for 1,4-butanediol (1,4-BDO) is expected to reach USD 6,947.1 million by 2020, according to a new study by Grand View Research, Inc. Growth of footwear industry, mainly in Asia Pacific, is expected to drive the market for 1,4-BDO over the forecast period. In addition, 1,4-BDO is used for manufacturing tetrahydrofuran (THF) which is further used for manufacturing spandex, a raw material for sports apparel. Growing number of global sporting events is expected to augment sport apparel demand, which is likely to reflect in 1,4-BDO market. However, volatile raw material prices coupled with stringent environment regulations, mainly in North America and Europe is expected to be a key challenge for market participants over the next six years. In order to overcome these challenges, the industry has shifted its focus towards developing bio-based 1,4-BDO which along with providing an eco friendly solution also provides cost competitiveness against its synthetic counterpart. Some major companies developing bio-based routes to 1,4-BDO include BASF, Purac, DSM, Mitsubishi Chemicals, Myriant and Genomatica.