The global optical brighteners market is growing at a significant rate owing to the increasing demand for the brighteners in the emerging markets and the growing use in the applications such as paper, fabrics, deterrents and soaps. Optical brighteners are compounds which absorb the ultraviolet light and emit blue light through a process known as fluorescence. The brighteners have properties such as heat resistance, chemical stability, low volatility, and high solubility in organic solvents.
The optical brighteners market is segmented by chemicals, application, end user, and geography. On the basis of chemicals, the market is categorized into coumarin, stilbene, dicarboxylic acid, diphenyl pyrazoline, cinnamic acid, and others. It has been seen that stilbene contributed to the major share in the market. This is attributed to the easy and widespread availability of this derivative. Additionally, both the cis and trans isomers of stilbene can be used in the manufacturing of a large number of commercial grade brighteners.
Based on application, the optical brighteners market is categorized into paper, fabrics, detergents and soaps, synthetics and plastics, and others. During the historical period, paper segment contributed to the major share in the market. This is attributed to the growing paper industry in the APAC region, where these brighteners are significantly used.
On the basis of end user, the optical brighteners market is categorized into consumer products, security and safety, textiles and apparel, packaging, and others. During the forecast period, it is expected that the textile and apparel injury will contribute to the major share, owing to the increased demand for textiles from the developing economies.
The major growth drivers identified in the optical brighteners market are the growing textile and apparel industry in APAC region, rising demand for biodegradable brighteners, and the growing demand from the cosmetics industry. It has been seen that with the changing lifestyle of the consumers and increasing disposable income, there is a growing demand for the textiles among consumers. In order to meet growing demand for keep the clothing brighter among consumers, use of optical brighteners in textiles to counteract the yellowness of the fabric and emit blue light rays has increased by textiles producers.
According to the secondary research, it is seen that Asia is a major hub for the textile industry and China being a major exporter with a total share of 37.0% in the global textile and apparel sector, followed by India, Indonesia, Bangladesh and others. The growth in the textile industry in this region will in turn drive the optical brighteners market.
Stringent government regulations imposed on the use of some of the brighteners chemical agents is acting as a restraint in the growth of the optical brighteners market. According to Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemical substances (REACH), the brighteners cause allergic skin reaction and eye irritation; thus posing as a health hazard. This has led to the restricted use of these brighteners in the different agents, thus acting as a restraint in the market.
Growing applications in the printing inks and photo processing industries is a major opportunity in the optical brighteners market. It has been seen that the printing companies are using the brighteners in the paper during the manufacturing process. The brighteners help in absorbing the ultraviolet light and emit the same which makes the paper look whiter. According to the Indian Papers Manufacturers Association, it is seen that the Indian printing industry is growing at an annual rate of 12.0%. This growth in turn is leading to the increased opportunity in the market.
Insights by geography
On the basis of geography, the optical brighteners market is categorized into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific (APAC), Latin America (LATAM), and Middle East and Africa (MEA). During the forecast period, it is expected that APAC will contribute to the fastest growth, attributing to the growth of the end-use industries such as textiles, packaging, and consumer goods. According to the India Brand Equity Foundation, it has been estimated that the domestic textile industry is expected to reach $250.0 billion by 2019 from $150.0 billion in 2017. This growth in turn is expected to drive the market.
Some of the major players working in the global optical brighteners market are BASF SE, RPM International Inc., Keystone Aniline Corporation, Aron Universal Limited, Huntsman Corporation, Clariant AG, Brilliant Colors Inc, Deepak Nitrite Limited, and Archroma.