Albany, New York (PRWEB) March 15, 2013
In terms of revenues, glycerol demand is expected to reach USD 2.1 billion in 2018, growing at a CAGR of 7.7% from 2012 to 2018.
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Growing demand from the major end use industries such as personal care, pharmaceuticals and foods & beverages is expected to drive glycerol demand over the next five years. In addition, over the last three years, glycerol has been increasingly explored as a platform chemical for a host of renewable chemical intermediates. However; uncertainty of feedstock supply, coupled with low refining margins have emerged as a key challenge for market participants.
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Over supply of glycerol in recent times owing to the surge in biodiesel production has resulted in glycerol prices holding steady. Some of the potential applications which are currently under investigation in the global market include production of propylene glycol (PG), epichlorohydrin (ECH), and 1,3-propanediol (PDO) using glycerol. These compounds are traditionally manufactured using conventional feedstock (petro-based) but glycerol helps in producing these compounds in a more environmental friendly manner and has the potential to be more economical compared to synthetic counterparts. Many companies such as Archer Daniel Midland (ADM), Solvay, and Dow Chemical Company have already ventured into producing PG, ECH and PDO using glycerol as their main feedstock.
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Asia Pacific is the leading consumer of glycerol and accounted for approximately 36% of the total glycerol consumed in 2011. Rapidly changing consumer lifestyle, mainly in emerging economies of China and India is one of the major factors behind the growing demand for glycerol in the region.
Personal care and pharmaceutical industry are key application segments for glycerol, accounting for over 37% of the total glycerol consumed in 2011. Food and beverages industry is expected to be the fastest growing market for glycerol, at an estimated CAGR of 7.3% from 2012 to 2018.
The global market for glycerol is dominated by South East Asian (mainly Malaysian) companies such as IOI Group, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad, Emery Oleochemicals and Wilmar International. Some of the other companies operating in the market include Sofiproteol Group, Procter & Gamble, and Croda.
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