Phthalic anhydride is an organic compound formed by the oxidation process of naphthalene or orthoxylene. Phthalic anhydride has higher vapor pressure and thus possesses tendency to volatilize from compound resulting in stiffer product. Phthalic anhydride is colorless solid and serves as vital industrial chemical for large scale production of plasticizers for plastics. Fundamental application of phthalic anhydride includes production of phthalate plasticizers for making polyvinyl chloride (PVC), unsaturated polyester resins, alkyd resins, dyes, insect repellents and polyester polyols for polyurethanes. Phthalic anhydride is predominantly used as an intermediate in the production of agricultural, pigments and dyes, pharmaceutical, and several other chemical products. Materials containing phthalic anhydride are mainly used in coatings applications for automobiles, medical devices, home appliances and furniture. Construction, automobiles and land and marine transportation are the major end users of phthalic anhydride.
The major driver which is expected to propel the growth of phthalic anhydride is increase in demand for phthalate plasticizers owing to rise in the consumption of polyvinyl chloride in the automobile and construction industry. Asia Pacific region, mainly China and India are expected to witness fastest demand growth in polyvinyl chloride owing to rapid development in construction and transportation sector. Moreover, the market is expected to show robust growth owing to increasing demand for unsaturated polyester resins which is used to manufacture fiberglass-reinforced plastics mainly to fabricate synthetic marble, shower stalls, boats and recreation vehicles. Additionally, the global phthalic anhydride market is expected to boost due to accelerating demand of reinforced laminates, paints and coatings, dyes and pigments. Toxic nature of alkyd resins and phthalates is expected to slow down the market growth over the forecast period. In addition, increase in global consumption of non-phthalates is further expected to hamper growing demand for phthalates. Increasing demand for polyester polyols coupled with mounting coating and paints industries are expected to offer high growth opportunity in the near future.
Phthalic anhydride are widely used in various applications which comprises of phthalate plasticizers, alkyd resins, unsaturated polyester resins and other applications (detergents, herbicides and insecticides, dyes and pigments, saccharin, polyester resin cross-linking agents and fire retardants). Phthalate plasticizers serve as the largest application segment of phthalic anhydride. Phthalic plasticizers are used to manufacture polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is broadly used for production of flexible products such as pipes and hoses, cables, leather cloth, film for packaging and shoes. Its increasing use in automobile and construction industry is expected to raise demand for phthalate plasticizers leading it to be the fastest growing segment over the forecast period. The unsaturated polyester resins application segment is expected to propel the market growth of phthalic anhydride due to its rising demand in manufacturing reinforced laminates and surface coating. Alkyd resin market is expected to be the most attractive application segment in the phthalic anhydride market owing to strong growth prospects in solvent-borne protective coatings in the paint industry.
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Asia Pacific signifies the largest and the most important market for the phthalic anhydride industry. Phthalic anhydride market in Asia Pacific is mainly driven by emerging market such as China and India, owing to growth in demand for phthalate plasticizers in PVC applications and is further expected to boost demand for phthalic anhydride in automobile and construction sector. Europe and North American market is expected to grow at slower pace due to the stringent environmental regulations in these regions which are making it difficult for manufacturers to adopt strategies to further increase their business. RoW is further expected to trigger the market growth for phthalic anhydride due to increasing demand for phthalate plasticizers.
The key companies in the global phthalic anhydride market include Shandong Hongxin, BASF, ExxonMobil Chemical, Nan-Ya Plastics, Aekyung Petrochemical, Polynt SPA, IG Petrochemicals, Koppers Industries, Asian Paints, Cp-Chem Co. Ltd., Mitsubishi Gas Chemicals Co. Ltd. and UPC Technology Corp., among others.