Glycerol Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Glycerol Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Source (Biodiesel, Fatty Acids, Fatty Alcohols, Soap), By Type (Crude, Refined) By End Use (Food & Beverage, Pharmaceutical), By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2020 - 2027

  • Published Date: Jun, 2020
  • Base Year for Estimate: 2019
  • Report ID: 978-1-68038-190-0
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)
  • Historical Data: 2016 - 2018
  • Number of Pages: 115

Report Overview

The global glycerol market size was valued at USD 2.6 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.0% from 2020 to 2027. The market growth is anticipated to be driven by its increasing demand from food, pharmaceutical, and nutraceutical industries. The product is widely being used in several food products including processed meat, condensed milk, and bakery products. Commercially, it is obtained as a byproduct during the biodiesel manufacturing process. Several countries including South Korea, U.S. Germany, and Indonesia have imposed biodiesel mandates, i.e. inclusion of a certain percentage of biodiesel in traditional fuel. Increasing biodiesel demand across the globe is expected to drive its production which in turn is anticipated to create an uninterrupted raw material supply for production.

U.S. glycerol market size

The crude form of the product obtained during biodiesel production contains impurities that are further removed using several purification techniques such as distillation, chemical treatment, filtration, adsorption, and extraction among others. The above-mentioned techniques can be used in combination to obtain a high purity products.

Distillation is a commonly practiced technique to obtain purified products owing to the low cost of chemicals, adaptability of the process to suit varying qualities of crude and finished products. However, the distillation of crude glycerol is an energy intensive process due to the high specific heat capacity of products that leads to a high-energy input requirement. As a result, manufacturers are turning towards alternative low energy consuming and capital-intensive purification techniques.

Source Insights

The biodiesel source segment accounted for the largest revenue share of over 59.1% in 2019. Although glycerol is derived from natural as well as synthetic processes, the growing consumer awareness towards the use of naturally sourced products coupled with higher demand for biodiesel in transportation fuels has made it one of the prominent sources of glycerol over the recent years. It is obtained during the transesterification method while sourcing biodiesel.

Besides, it can also be developed using hydrolysis of oils and fats as well as saponification processes. The saponification process is the basis of the commercial soap-making process and yields glycerol to about 10.0% of the value of the soap formed, whereas biodiesel production yields are about 60.0% to 70.0%.

Type Insights

The refined glycerol segment accounted for the approximately 65.1% revenue share in 2019 and is anticipated to maintain its dominance in the glycerol market over the forecast period. It is used in several applications such as pharmaceutical, food and beverage, nutraceutical, and cosmetics. Commercially, purified glycerol is available in various grades such as pharmaceutical, food, and cosmetics. The quality and purity of the product depends on the end-use applications. For instance, glycerol used in pharmaceutical formulation must meet 99.0% of purity levels. To meet the purity and quality standard from food to pharmaceutical, the purification process is an essential factor to be considered.

Crude glycerol presents great opportunities for new applications such as animal feed, for the production of citric acid, docosahexaenoic acid, 1, 3-propanediol. The product as an animal feed component has great potential for replacing corn in diets and is gaining popularity. However, the presence of hazardous impurities in crude glycerol is expected to prove a major restrain for its consumption. However, the impurities present in crude glycerol can greatly affect the conversion of glycerol into other products.

Application Insights

The personal care and cosmetics segment accounted for 36.0% revenue share in 2019. The product is widely used in several personal care and cosmetics formulations such as toothpaste, moisturizer, shampoos, hair conditioners, and body wash. In moisturizing creams, it helps to smoothen the skin by imparting moisture to the surface of the skin. Apart from this, it is also added to shaving creams and eye drops. In U.S., the product is approved for use in skin care products and is regulated as GRAS by U.S. FDA.

Glycerol is used in several dairy products, processed, canned and functional foods as well as confections. The product when added to the food formulations acts as thickener, sweetener, and humectants. Glycerol as a food additive is Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) by U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Food grade glycerol can be made from vegetable, animal sources such as palm, coconut and soybean as well as animal fats such as beef and tallow. In addition, it can also be synthetically produced from propylene.

Regional Insights

Asia Pacific held revenue share of 21.7% in 2019 and is expected to be the fastest-growing region with a revenue-based CAGR of 4.2% over the forecast period. This can be attributed to the increased consumer spending, growing adoption of healthy lifestyle, and expansion of end-use industries such as nutraceutical, pharmaceutical, personal care, and cosmetics. Countries like China and India are anticipated to witness an increase in glycerol consumption due to augmented production of epichlorohydrin. Growing adoption of pharmaceutical and cosmetic products containing glycerol, the global demand will experience significant growth.

Europe accounted for a volume share of over 28.9% in the market in 2019 owing to the augmented demand from personal care, pharmaceuticals, and food and beverages. The region is one of the major markets for pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products. Hence a significant demand for the product is observed from these sectors in the region.

Global glycerol market share

However, the region is severely impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. In addition, Italy and U.K. are the worst-hit countries, thus, resulting in the shutdown of several manufacturing companies. This is expected to severely impact the supply chain of glycerol, thereby, adversely affecting market growth in the region. Also, low biodiesel production along with slow imports of raw materials has resulted in shortage of glycerol which in turn has affected the prices for the same.

Key Companies & Market Share Insights

This market is considerably fragmented with the dominance of well-established and long-term operating players. These players are focusing on acquisition, expansion, and investment strategies to enhance their product portfolio and meet the growing demand from end-use markets. Some of the prominent players in the glycerol market include:

  • Cargill, Incorporated


  • Kao Corporation

  • Oleon N.V.

  • KLK Oleo

Glycerol Market Report Scope

Report Attribute


Market size value in 2020

USD 3.0 billion

Revenue forecast in 2027

USD 3.5 billion

Growth Rate

CAGR of 4.0% from 2020 to 2027

Base year for estimation


Historical data

2016 - 2018

Forecast period

2020 - 2027

Quantitative units

Volume in kilotons, revenue in USD million, and CAGR from 2020 to 2027

Report coverage  

Revenue forecast, company share, competitive landscape, growth factors and trends

Segments covered

Source, type, application, region

Regional scope

North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; Central & South America; Middle East & Africa

Country Scope

U.S.; Canada; Mexico; Germany; U.K.; France; Italy; Netherlands; Russia; China; India; Japan; South Korea; Brazil; Argentina; South Africa; Saudi Arabia

Key companies profiled

Cargill, Incorporated; BASF SE; Kao Corporation; Oleon N.V.; KLK Oleo

Customization scope

Free report customization (equivalent up to 8 analysts working days) with purchase. Addition or alteration to country, regional & segment scope.

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Segments Covered in the Report

This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2020 to 2027. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global glycerol market report on the basis of source, type, end use, and region:

  • Source Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • Biodiesel

    • Fatty Alcohol

    • Fatty Acids

    • Soap

  • Type Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • Crude

    • Refined

  • End-use Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • Food & Beverage

    • Pharmaceutical

    • Nutraceutical           

    • Personal Care & Cosmetics

    • Industrial

    • Others

  • Regional Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • North America

      • U.S.

      • Canada

      • Mexico

    • Europe

      • Germany

      • U.K.

      • France

      • Italy

      • Netherlands

      • Russia

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • India

      • Japan

      • South Korea

    • Central & South America

      • Brazil

      • Argentina

    • Middle East& Africa

      • South Africa

      • Saudi Arabia

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