The global oxo alcohol market is anticipated to witness steady growth over the forecast period owing to increasing application of oxo alcohols as a solvent in paints and coatings. Oxo alcohols are chemicals prepared by adding carbon monoxide and hydrogen to an olefin and then hydrogenating to form an alcohol. They are produced by catalytic hydro formulation of propylene with synthesis gas (CO+H2), which produces normal butyraldehyde and iso-butyraldehyde. Rhodium catalyst is used for hydroformylation, which is active at atmospheric pressure and temperature, whereas cobalt is used in high pressure and temperature of synthesis gas to accelerate the reaction. Isobutanol (IBA), N-Butanol (NBA), and 2-Ethylhexanol (2-EH) are major types of oxo alcohols, which are likely to gain commercial importance in the coming years.
N-butanol is a colorless and medium volatile liquid with a distinct sweet odor. It is mainly used as a solvent in paints, varnishes, coatings, fats, oils, waxes, and plasticizers. Isobutanol is a clear and neutral liquid with a characteristic sweet and musty odor. It is used as a solvent and feedstock in manufacturing of plasticizers, printing inks, amino resin, and nitro-cellulose lacquers.
In 2018, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved isobutanol as an additive for blending into gasoline up to 16% in automobile vehicles. 2-ethylhexanol is a dark brown liquid with aromatic floral fragrance. It is used in manufacturing of low volatile esters mainly di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), which is widely employed as a plasticizer for PVC and Vinyl Chloride copolymers. Other applications of the chemical include 2-EH Acylate, 2-EH Nitrate, diesel fuel, and lube additive.
Asia Pacific is a prominent region in the market owing to presence of large number of end-use industries. Countries including Japan, South Korea, and China contribute to more than half of the global production. Balanced supply of and demand for the product, increasing production capacities in the China market, and stability in U.S. and Europe are likely to have a positive impact on market growth.
N-Butyl alcohol has emerged highly lucrative due to steady growth in the paints industry in Asia Pacific. However, a slight decline can be observed in U.S., Europe, and North East Asia owing to banned use of Dioctyl Phthalate (DOP) in certain applications by regulatory authorities and shift in end-user preferences for alternate plasticizers.
SilicoLife, one of theadvanced bioeconomy companies in Portugal, has innovated BUTANOVA technology, a new biological process to produce n-Butanol. Green Biologics Inc., a U.K.-based company, delivered its first 100% renewable Bio-pure n-Butanol to JungbunzlauerLadenburg GmbH, Germany. These product innovations are crucial for the industry to move toward more sustainable processes.
Key players in the oxo alcohol market include Oxea Group (Germany), L G Group (South Korea), Eastman Chemical Company (US), Exxon Mobil (US), Mitsubishi Chemical Corp (Japan), Formosa Plastic Group (Taiwan), CNPC (China), and Petronas (Malaysia). Globally, BASF has the highest manufacturing capacity of n-Butyl alcohol and Sinopec has emerged as the leading player in production of 2-Ethylhexanol.
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