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The adipic acid market is growing with the growth of end user industries including footwear, electronics and automotive in India and China and it is assumed to remain a remarkable factor driving the Asia-Pacific adipic acid market. The European and North American markets are highly driven by innovation and technology. Europe emerged as the second largest market for adipic acid. North America follows Europe in the adipic acid market share. RoW adipic acid market is driven by the growing automobile industry largely in Argentina and Brazil.
Adipic acid is an essential raw material for the commercial production of Nylon 6.6 that is the most important polyamides for industrial purpose. It is conventionally produced using various products derived from petroleum including benzene, phenol and cyclohexane. However, phenol has been eliminated as a raw material for producing adipic acid due to shift in hydrocarbons market, while, cyclohexane was being primarily used as a substitute is a mainstream product now for the globally produced adipic acid. Adipic acid with lower purity grade is used for manufacturing polyurethane while high purity grade is used for manufacturing nylon. Manufacturers have been trying to develop new techniques to produce adipic acid. Manufacturing companies have made investments in technology for future advancement to produce bio-based adipic acid.
The global adipic acid market can be categorized on the basis of end users as nylon 6,6 fiber; nylon 6,6 resin; polyurethane; adipate esters and among some other applications.
Production of nylon is the main application of adipic acid. These materials are generally used in the manufacture of automobile components. Adipic acid also finds application in other sectors that include paints, plastic additives, food additives, polyurethane resins, low-temperature lubricants and synthetic fibers.
Increasing commercial use of bio-adipic acid is a major trend being witnessed in this market owing to increased manufacturer and consumer understanding about carbon footprint reduction. Adoption of bio-adipic acid by various industries has increased due to increased demand for environment-friendly processes of chemical manufacturing owing to the harmful effects of petroleum-based processes on the environment. One of the major drivers in the market is automotive industry which is witnessing an increase in application of nylon 6,6, the main application segment of adipic acid. Nylon 6,6 is being used in automobiles extensively to reduce total weight which increases fuel efficiency.
Volatility in the price of raw materials, especially benzene and the rising prices of crude oil are a major restraint to the synthetic adipic acid market. Also, stringent environmental regulations considering adipic acid usage are acting as a restraint in the global adipic acid market. These concerns have lead to the shift of demand from synthetic to bio-based adipic acid. Bio-based adipic acid also provides economical feasibility compared to the synthetic adipic acid.
The opportunity lies in the market with bio-based adipic acid which has shown feasibility and is presently in its progress stage. Bio-based adipic acid is assumed to be useful for nearly all applications for which synthetic adipic acid is used currently. Bio-based adipic acid producers have an opportunity to replace the synthetic adipic acid market.
Some of the key players in the industry include Ascend Performance Materials, Shandong Haili Chemical Industry Company Ltd., BASF SE, INVISTA, Radici Partecipazioni SpA, Solvay, Asahi Kasei Corporation, Lanxess, PetroChina Liaoyang Petrochemical and Shandong Hongye Chemical Company, Ltd among others.