The global ethyl lactate market revenue is expected to reach USD 3,049.5 million by 2030, exhibiting a CAGR of 7.9% during 2024–2030. This can be attributed to the surging demand for cosmetics, the rising number of construction activities, a significant number of acquisitions by major players, and this chemical is used as an effective cleaning solvent in multiple industries.
Furthermore, lactic acid esters such as ethyl lactate are generally utilized in many cosmetic formulations. The compound is commonly used as an ingredient in a number of cosmetics such as hair dyes, shampoos, moisturizers, and other skincare items. Additionally, consumers are increasingly becoming aware of the side effects of synthetic chemicals used in cosmetics, and are, therefore, using organic personal care products. Hence, the surging consumer awareness regarding the detrimental effects of synthetic items as well as the rising demand for organic products is substantially boosting the demand for ethyl lactate.
In addition, EtLa offers several advantages in comparison to other solvents for the manufacturing of paints and coatings. These include high solubility in solid paints, which makes it an apt solubility enhancer; stability of formulations, solubility, and pigment wetting in concentrated inks and dispersed pigments; and solubility, evaporation control rate, and surface wetting of resins in a variety of resins such as diazo resins, phenolic resins, nitrocellulose resins, and polyvinyl phenols.
Furthermore, it is used in the manufacturing of coatings, which are used for polystyrene surfaces, as its capability engraves certain forms of plastic substrates to improve adhesion. In wood and leather coatings, the chemical helps attain significant penetration, as it possesses chemical affinity and low-surface tension for natural materials. Moreover, for metal, wood, and polystyrene coatings, EtLa enhances adhesion, penetration, and wetting of pigment, and offers resin solubility. Therefore, its wide range of applications in the field of paints and coatings is having a positive impact on the growth of the ethyl lactate market.
Moreover, ethyl lactate’s effective cleaning ability makes it an appropriate cleaning solvent across several industries. The compound effectively removes paints from a variety of surfaces, and it also helps in getting rid of oil, solid fuels, adhesives, greases, and other marks from metals and a variety of surfaces.
On the basis of the grade segment, the food category accounted for the largest market share, of 40%, in 2023. This is because ethyl lactate has multiple applications in the food sector. For instance, it is extensively used as a food additive; aids in improving the texture, flavor, and fragrances of food items; helps in enhancing the shelf life of such products; and provides stability to the products. Moreover, food-grade ethyl lactate is derived from natural substances such as corn starch, which makes it preferable for usage in the food and beverages sector.
Geographically, North America held a significant market share in 2023. This is because of the rising demand for cosmetics and personal care products, the existence of well-developed food and beverages and pharmaceutical industries, the presence of key major players, and the imposition of strict regulations for maintaining the toxin limits in regards to usage of solvents in a number of end-use industries, in the region.
Key players in the market are Corbion NV, Vertec BioSolvents Inc., Godavari Biorifineries Limited, Aurochemicals, Stepan Company, Merck KGaA, and Archer-Daniels-Midland Company.