The global isopropyl alcohol market size was valued at USD 2.65 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.2% from 2020 to 2027. Isopropyl alcohol (IPA) exhibits excellent solvency characteristics and is therefore recognized as one of the key solvents across end-use industries. The substance is also a key component used across several medical facilities, pharmaceutical products, medical devices, mainly due to its disinfectant properties.
Isopropyl alcohol also referred to as isopropanol, is a flammable colorless liquid with a strong odor. The substance is used across a wide range of industries to manufacture several household and industrial chemicals. Moreover, it is a key ingredient in multiple chemical formulations, such as detergents, disinfectants, and antiseptics. The typical production processes include indirect hydration, direct hydration, and hydrogenation of acetone.
Demand in the U.S. is expected to increase owing to growing demand in pharmaceutical and solvent applications. Presence of major pharma companies such as Abbott, Pfizer, Merck, and Johnson & Johnson is aiding the market growth. The existing downstream specialty chemical marketspace is also expected to play a major role in driving the product demand in future.
The chemical, however, has multiple antimicrobial properties, and blending 60% to 90% of the chemical with 10% to 40% water, which is purified, can rapidly work against several viruses, bacteria, and fungi. However, if the concentration of the substance is below the 50% mark, the disinfecting characteristics drop substantially. Moreover, if the concentrations are equal to or more than 91%, the alcohol forms a protective layer by coagulating proteins rapidly, which eventually forms a protective layer, thereby stopping other protein coagulation on the skin.
With the recent outbreak of coronavirus worldwide, one of the most highly used products were sanitizers. The ability of the formulation to protect the skin from the penetration of viruses or any other microorganisms led to high sales in the first quarter of 2020. The utilization of isopropyl alcohol in the formulation of these sanitizers globally was extremely high and the European market reflected low availability of the chemical towards the end of the first quarter of 2020.
Furthermore, during the time of crisis, multinational companies producing isopropyl alcohol and other disinfectants started optimizing their production capacities to meet the rapidly increasing demand. In Europe, ExxonMobil Corporation experienced fire hazard at one of the IPA production facilities in early 2020, however, the company quickly recovered from the hazard state and restarted production at their optimal capacity. INEOS Corporation has its two IPA production plants in Germany operating at full potential. However, rising demand has resulted in a shortage of supply, and travel restrictions have further added to the problems of local formulators.
Astringent and antiseptic held the largest share of 40.4% based on revenue in 2019. The recent pandemic in 2020 has resulted in rapidly growing demand for the product as an astringent and antiseptic. The outbreak of virus shall directly lead to regular consumption of sanitizers, personal care products, and other pharmaceutical formulations to maintain personal hygiene worldwide. This is projected to reflect high demand in pharmaceutical as well as personal care product formulation.
Formulation of antiseptics is one of the major applications of the compound since it exhibits excellent disinfectant properties. The concentration of ideally 70% of IPA is used in producing hand sanitizers globally. The chemical also finds application in cleaning agent production, wherein it is utilized as a surface disinfectant, household solvent, and electronic component cleaner. Furthermore, isopropyl alcohol is broadly utilized as an astringent, which enables skin pores to minimize, thereby making skin tone smoother.
The major applications of isopropyl alcohol include its utility as a solvent. Its direct applications include formulation of herbicides and pesticides, inks, surface coatings, and resin production. The substance is also used to dilute essential oils due to lower density, low boiling point, and toxicity. High demand for the product from solvent manufacturers due to these properties is expected to remain a major factor driving the product demand in the foreseeable future.
The pharmaceutical segment held the largest share of 34.3% based on revenue in 2019. Proven the high ethanol content in isopropyl alcohol, it has widespread applications across a multitude of industries. Demand for the chemical is growing rapidly from the pharmaceutical sector, personal care and cosmetics, chemicals, food and beverages, and paints and coatings industries worldwide. The personal care segment is likely to grow rapidly post the virus outbreak in the first quarter of 2020.
The cosmetics and personal care segment captured the second largest share in 2019 and is anticipated to witness the fastest growth over the forecast period. IPA also called rubbing alcohol, is extensively used in formulating skincare products, bath products, hair care products, aftershave lotions, makeup, and eye care products. Among personal hygiene products, it is broadly utilized in producing sanitizers, antiseptic skin preparation for patients, surgical hand scrubs, and hand washes.
The chemical is also widely found in thinners and paints in the wood furnishing and coatings industry, wherein it is utilized as an inert solvent. It reduces the flammability of the coating and thereby aids in safe transportation and storage of the goods. Furthermore, in the food industry, IPA is utilized as a food flavoring agent, preservative, oils, fats, sweetener, and probiotic.
Asia Pacific held the largest share of 42.9% in terms of volume in 2019 and is anticipated to witness the fastest growth over the forecast period. The regional movement of isopropyl alcohol is likely to depend on the recent industry trends and economic upturn of countries, post the coronavirus epidemic. In 2018, the U.S., followed by Western Europe and China respectively, were the leading consumers of the product. However, provided the current global scenario, Europe has recorded the highest consumption of sanitizers and personal hygiene products, followed by the U.S. and China. Major capacity additions occurred in the European countries, especially in Germany, to contain the 2020 virus outbreak.
Demand for safety and hygiene products has been high across European countries, such as Germany and Italy, U.S., and Asian countries, such as Japan, China, and India. Demand for IPA is likely to be extremely high across these regions owing to multiple companies demanding the IPA solvent for producing personal care products, coupled with pharmaceutical applications.
Moreover, with increasing healthcare facilities across Europe, North America, and Asia Pacific, a majority stake of the solvents is being utilized in the formulation of paints and coatings. Moreover, emerging economies of Asia Pacific, such as India, Thailand, Japan, and South Korea, as well as other regions are increasingly dependent on processed food items that require preservatives to optimize shelf life. Since IPA is a widely used food preservative and coloring agent, demand for the substance is also projected to grow steadily in these countries over the forecast period.
The market has been characterized by the presence of leading producers having an international reach and extensive product portfolio holding due to hefty investments in research & development activities. INEOS Corporation declared to utilize its full capacity of sanitizer production in Germany at its two facilities in the first quarter of 2020, which vastly utilizes IPA for continued operations of these facilities. Companies operational in the U.S. have also enhanced their production capabilities to suffice the growing demand for sanitizers and personal care products in the respective local markets. Major strategies adopted by market participants include joint ventures and new product development focused on new application industries. Some of the prominent players in the isopropyl alcohol market include:
Mistral Industrial Chemicals
ReAgent Chemicals Ltd.
Royal Dutch Shell
Market size value in 2020
USD 2.80 billion
Revenue forecast in 2027
USD 4.85 billion
CAGR of 8.2% from 2020 to 2027
Market demand in 2020
Volume forecast in 2027
CAGR of 7.5% from 2020 to 2027
Base year for estimation
2016 - 2018
2020 - 2027
Volume in kilotons, revenue in USD million and CAGR from 2020 to 2027
Revenue and volume forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends
Application, end use, region
North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; Central & South America; MEA
U.S.; Canada; Mexico; U.K.; Germany; France; Italy; Netherlands, China; India; Japan; South Korea; Brazil; Argentina, South Africa; South Arabia
Key companies profiled
Dow Chemical; Mistral Industrial Chemicals; INEOS Corporation; ReAgent Chemicals Ltd.; LyondellBasell Industries; Linde Gas; Ecolab; Royal Dutch Shell; ExxonMobil Corporation
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This report forecasts volume and revenue growth at the global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends and opportunities in each of the sub-segments from 2016 to 2027. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global isopropyl alcohol market report on the basis of application, end use, and region:
Application Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)
Antiseptic & Astringent
End-use Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)
Cosmetics and Personal Care
Food and Beverages
Paints and Coatings
Regional Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)
Central & South America
Middle East & Africa
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