Esters are chemical compounds formed by replacing hydrogen of an acid with an alkyl or other organic group. The naturally occurring esters include fats, oils and triglycerides. These compounds are derived from vegetable oils, thus making the chance of human health hazard very low. Esters are used in industrial sector where operating complexities are high. Due to its high performance properties and custom design versatility, esters are used in various niche markets in industrial application sectors, such as reciprocating air compressor and high temperature industrial oven chain lubricants. Ester based lubricants offer better performance, in comparison to other two major types, polyalkylene glycol and polyalphaolefins. Esters from pentaerythritol and alkanoic acids are extensively used in jet engine lubrications, mainly because of their unique combination of clean high temperature operation with low temperature flow agility.
The global esters market is witnessing growth, owing to the growing automotive industry, technological advancements, increasing demand of coatings in construction industry, and increasing demand for esters in lubricant, personal care and cosmetic industries. Moreover, the increasing adoption of environmentally acceptable lubricants (EAL), increasing penetration of automotive industry in developing countries, and commercial adoption of bio-based esters are anticipated to create huge revenue generation opportunities for the major manufacturers of esters.
However, fluctuating raw material prices, uncertain global economic conditions, and stringent environment regulations are expected to hinder the growth of the global esters market to some extent. The fluctuation of crude prices plays an important part in ester pricing, as esters are chemically synthesized from petroleum derivatives including high production cost and complex processing. In addition, the high cost of ester based lubricants may also hamper the growth of the global esters market.
Among the various types of esters, the polyesters/complex esters segment held the largest share in the global esters market in 2015. The reason behind the highest consumption of polyesters/complex esters is the high demand from textile, electrical insulation, industrial fabrics, home furnishing and packaging industries. Among the various applications of esters, the textile segment held the largest share in the global market in 2015.
Asia-Pacific accounted for the largest share in the global esters market in 2015; and it is also expected to witness the highest growth during 2016 – 2022. Asia-Pacific is the largest market in terms of consumption as well as production, owing to the factors such as easy availability of raw materials and rapid growth of industries and production capacities in developing countries, such as China and India.
Some of the major players operating in the global esters market include BASF SE, Cargill Incorporated, Exxon Mobil Corporation, DAK Americas LLC, The Dow Chemical Company, Chemtura Corporation, Croda International Plc, Esterchem Ltd., and NYCO.