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The global oleochemicals market is witnessing growth due to the favorable government regulations for environment friendly products, recyclability of oleochemicals, increasing demand for biodegradable and sustainable products, and growing end-user industries. High growth in the pharmaceutical, cosmetics and food industries are supporting the demand for these chemicals. The distinct governments across the globe are framing regulations to encourage the consumption and production of bio-based products; thus fueling growth of the global market. Among the various applications of oleochemicals, the pharmaceuticals and personal care segment is estimated to dominate the global market in 2015. In addition, the fatty acid segment became the largest segment among the various products in 2015, and it is anticipated to retain its dominance in the global oleochemicals market. The consumption of fatty acids as raw materials in pharmaceutical and personal care industry is the key driver for the growth of the fatty acid segment. The glycerin product segment is expected to witness the fastest growth during forecast period, owing to increasing demand from food and beverages industry.
The significant growth of the pharmaceutical, personal care, and food and beverage industries in emerging economies, such China, India, and Brazil, are creating ample opportunities for the growth of global market during the forecast period. In addition, the increasing compliance for biolubricants, biosurfactants and biopolymers is the key trend witnessed in the global market. However, the high competition from the petroleum based chemicals is the key challenge witnessed in the global market.
Oleochemicals are the chemicals derived from natural fat and oil from plants and animals. These are obtained by splitting triglyceride structure of fat and oils into fatty acids and glycerol. Some of the most common oleochemicals are fatty acids, fatty alcohols, fatty amines fatty methyl esters, and glycerol. However, these basic oleochemicals can further be chemically modified to obtain their downstream derivatives. These chemicals are produced by methylation or hydrolysis of oils and fats. Oleochemicals have uses such as softening, polishing, and treating agents in leather products; softener, vulcanizing agent for rubber products; specialty and general industrial lubricants hydraulic fluids, biodegradable base oils; culture media, soaps, shampoos, creams, and lotions for healthcare and personal care industry; specialty surfactant for soap and detergent products; and protective coatings in paints and coatings industry. Moreover, these chemicals also find applications in metal work and foundry, mining, electronics, waxes and biofuels.
The oleochemicals are analogous to the petrochemicals derived from petroleum. These chemicals have potential to replace a significant portion of petrochemicals, as these are derived from the renewable resources and are environment friendly. Moreover, these chemicals have several beneficial properties, such as beneficial biological properties, and excellent surface activity, emolliency and emulsifying properties.
Geographically, Asia-Pacific dominated the global market, owing to high consumption and production of oleochemicals in the region, easy availability of feedstock, and government support for bio-based products. The region is also anticipated to witness the highest growth during 2016 – 2022. The increasing demand for green chemicals in the emerging economies of Asia-Pacific, such as China and India is driving the growth of the global market.
The key players operating in the global market are Alnor Oil Company, Arizona Chemical Company LLC, BASF SE, Cargil Incorporated, Eastman Chemical Company, Procter & Gamble, Evonik Industries AG, Godrej Group, Emery Oleochemicals Group, PTT Global Chemical Public Company Limited, Wilmar International Ltd., and Berg+Schmidt GmbH & Co. KG.