Polyalkylene Glycol Market: Introduction
The global polyalkylene glycol market was valued at ~US$ 10.2 Bn in 2018 and is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of ~11% from 2019 to 2027. Major raw materials used in polyalkylene glycol companies are mostly petroleum-based substances, such as ethylene oxide and propylene oxide.
Propylene oxide (PO) is a chemical intermediate used in the production of polyether polyols. Availability of raw materials, such as ethylene oxide and polyethylene oxide for the manufacturing of polyalkylene glycol is expected to boost the polyalkylene glycol market.
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Key Drivers of Polyalkylene Glycol Market
Manufacturers of polyurethane foam are the major consumers of polyalkylene glycol. Polyalkylene glycol is the most consumed chemical in the manufacturing of polyurethane, in terms of volume. Polyurethane foams are widely used in a variety of applications in several industries, including furniture, automobiles, residential, sculpture, decoration, building construction, water vessels, boats, textiles, electronic components, adhesives, and footwear. Thus, rise in demand for polyurethane foams in several end-use industries has a positive impact on the polyalkylene glycol market.
Increase in Application of Polyalkylene Glycol in Personal Care and Pharmaceutical Products to Offer Growth Opportunities
- Polyalkylene glycol is used in a variety of new products in personal care and pharmaceutical industries. There are numerous ongoing research studies to develop products using polyalkylene glycol as an ingredient. PEG is one of the most popular ingredients in several products in the pharmaceuticals industry. It is widely used in laxative formulation and tablet, powder, syrup, and capsule form. Development and commercialization of bio-based polyalkylene glycol is an added advantage in personal care and pharmaceuticals industries. Thus, increase in demand for polyalkylene glycol in pharmaceutical and personal care industries is driving the polyalkylene glycol market.
Price Volatility of Raw Materials to Hamper Market
- Polyalkylene glycols are primarily synthesized from petroleum-derived feedstock, such as ethylene oxide and propylene oxide. These petrochemicals are dependent on the supply and prices of crude oil. The price of raw materials for polyalkylene glycol fluctuates due to the volatility in the prices of oil and gas.
- Several economic factors, such as overproduction of crude oil, changing energy norms of countries, and economic meltdown across Europe and North America, have led to a steep decline in oil prices. This affects the prices of petroleum-based feedstock and subsequently of polyalkylene glycol. Thus, volatility in the prices of raw materials may act as a deterrent in the growth of the polyalkylene glycol market.
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Asia Pacific Dominates Polyalkylene Glycol Market
- In terms of region, Asia Pacific held a leading share of the global polyalkylene glycol market in The total production of polyurethane products in the region reached 12 million tons in 2016 from 11.5 million tons in 2014. Rise in the production of polyurethane products in Asia Pacific is boosting the demand for polyurethane foams. Polyalkylene glycol is used as a major raw material in the manufacturing of polyurethane foams.
- North America is one of the key producers and consumers of automobiles and lubricants. Polyalkylene glycol is majorly used as an additive in lubricants and has application as compressor oils in rotary screw and reciprocating units, worm gear oils, and fire-resistant lubricants. North America is major consumer of automobiles. This is driving the lubricants industry in the region, thereby boosting the polyalkylene glycol market.
High Demand for Polypropylene Glycol in Various End-use Industries
- In terms of type, the polypropylene glycol segment held a major share of the global polyalkylene glycol market in2018. PEG is used in lubricant formulations and functional fluids in automotive, aerospace, machinery, and refrigeration industries.
- Polyethylene glycols (PEGs) are hydrophilic oligomers or polymers synthesized from ethylene oxide. PEGs are largely used in pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries in ointment bases, creams, lotions, face lotions, lipsticks, and toothpastes.
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Polyalkylene Glycol Predominantly Used in Manufacturing of Polyurethane Foam
- In terms of application, the polyurethane foam segment led the polyalkylene glycol market in 2018. Polyalkylene glycols are building blocks of PU foams and they comprise more than30%–37% of chemicals consumed in the manufacturing of PU foams.
Key Players in Polyalkylene Glycol Market
- Prominent players operating in the polyalkylene glycol market are The Dow Chemical Company, Covestro AG, LyondellBasell Industries Holdings B.V., BASF SE, and Royal Dutch Shell plc.
- OnJuly 23, 2018, BASF expanded the capacity of its integrated ethylene oxide complex at its Verbund site in Antwerp, Belgium. The project includes capacity expansion for ethylene oxide and for several downstream derivatives, such as surfactants. In Europe, BASF operates ethylene oxide plants in Antwerp and Ludwigshafen with a combined capacity of 845,000 metric tons per year.
- Bayer Material Science, a subsidiary of Covestro AG, is a manufacturer of high performance isocyanates and polyether polyols used to produce polyurethane and polyurea systems
Increase in Demand for Polyurethane Foam in Packaging Industry
Polymer foams are being increasingly used in civil and industrial applications. For instance, polyurethane (PU) soft foam is extensively used to make furniture, car cushions, sports equipment, etc. On the other hand, there is a growing demand for PU hard foam for the production of refrigerators and freezers in the polyalkylene glycol market. As such, the polyurethane foam application segment of the polyalkylene glycol market is estimated to reach an output of ~4,100 kilo tons by the end of 2023.
Companies in the polyalkylene glycol market are increasing their production capacities to manufacture polypropylene (PP) foam to cater to end user needs in daily necessities, military, and aerospace industry. The rapidly growing packaging industry is resulting in increased production of polymer foams. Manufacturers in the polyalkylene glycol market are tapping into opportunities to increase the application of PP foam to produce insulation and shockproof materials. They are investing in research activities to adopt new foaming methods.
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