2-Ethylhexanol Market size is forecast to reach $9.1 billion by 2026, after growing at a CAGR of 6.7% during the forecast period from 2021-2026. Globally, increasing usage of 2-ethylhexanol due to its emollient properties and high boiling point for the production of plasticizers, lubricants, and other chemical products is anticipated to drive the market. A significant portion of 2-ethylhexanol generated is used as a precursor to the synthesis of diester bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), a plasticizer. Since it is a fatty alcohol, its esters appear to have emollient properties. Furthermore, the growing demand for chemicals across various industries and stringent norms on industrial emissions is anticipated to create new opportunities for the growth of the 2-ethylhexanol industry in the forecast era.
2-Ethylhexanol Market Segment Analysis – By Application
The plasticizers sector held the largest share in the 2-ethylhexanol market in 2020 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 5.9% during the forecast period 2021-2026. 2-ethylhexanol esters are used as a feedstock in plasticizer manufacturing, where their presence helps to reduce viscosity and lower freezing points. The largest application segments for plasticizers are in paints, rubber products, adhesives & sealants, and printing inks. 2-ethylhexanol is majorly consumed for manufacturing phthalate as well as phthalate-free plasticizers. With the growing plastic industry, the demand for plasticizers has also intensified. Therefore, as the demand for plasticizers is rising, the market growth for 2-ethylhexanol is expected to rise over the projected period.
2-Ethylhexanol Market Segment Analysis – By End Use Industry
The automotive industry held significant share in the 2-ethylhexanol market in 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.2% during the forecast period. 2-ethylhexanol has arisen as a fuel and a lube additive to the CO2 emissions of automobiles intending to minimize the environmental risks that exist profusely due to unhealthy emissions. Due to its flexibility, durability, and strength, it is used for the manufacture of plasticized PVC in automobiles and is projected to raise the demand for 2-ethylhexanol in the forecast period. For underbody coating, seats and dashes, filter housing, and body sealers, plasticized PVC is widely used. Also, 2-ethylhexanol is commonly used for the processing of 2-EH nitrate, which is used as a diesel fuel improver for cetane. 2-Ethylhexanol decreases the latency of combustion, noise and knock, shock loads, and fuel consumption in automobiles.
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2-Ethylhexanol Market Segment Analysis – By Geography
Asia-Pacific held the largest share with 41% in 2-ethylhexanol market in 2020. The demand for 2-ethylhexanol is primarily driven by the increasing production of plasticizers in emerging economies such as China, India, Vietnam, and Indonesia. Also, the rising demand for 2-EH acrylate combined with the rising automotive and construction industry is driving the market growth in the Asia-Pacific region. China and India are one of the world’s biggest car manufacturers, with the participation of almost all the major automotive industries’ production bases. According to the Society of Indian Automotive Manufacturers (SIAM), wholesale passenger vehicles in India rose by 26.45 percent to 2,72,027 units in September 2020 from 2,15,124 units in September 2019. Overall, the export of automobiles hit 4.77 million vehicles in FY20. Thus, the demand for 2-ethylhexanol is anticipated to grow in the projected time frame because of these properties.
2-Ethylhexanol Market Drivers
Growing Demand for Plasticizers from Various End Use Industries Will Drive The Market Growth for 2-Ethylhexanol
2-ethylhexanol (2-EH) is mainly used in the manufacturing of plasticizers. Plasticizers are commonly adopted in numerous industrial applications because of their ability to minimize viscosity, enhance the stability, resilience, longevity, and utility of the substance to which they are applied. In industrial uses, such as construction/remodeling, automobile manufacturing, and original equipment manufacturing (OEM), plasticizers are mostly used. Increasing demand for 2-EH acrylate as a raw material in coatings, adhesives, acrylic rubber, construction materials, and emulsions will also drive the demand for2-ethylhexanol in the forecast period. The key types of plasticizers used to satisfy a wide variety of manufacturing and efficiency criteria for a broad number of markets are phthalates, which are based on phthalic acid. Also, the increasing demand for plasticizers in the building and construction industry is further helpful in driving the development of the plasticizer sector, which in turn is raising the demand for 2-ethylhexanol market.
Strict Industrial Emission Regulations are Boosting the Demand for 2-Ethylhexanol in Fuels
The emission laws are continually being tightened across the world, under the leadership of European, US, Indian, and Japanese norms. As per the European Commission, The European Parliament and the Council adopted Regulation (EU) 2019/631 adopting CO2 emission efficiency requirements for new passenger cars and new vans for the years 2025 and 2030. The latest Legislation began to apply on 1 January 2020 and replaced and repealed Regulation (EC) No 443/2009. Also, the government of other various countries has set emission standards as a means to limit the levels of pollution emitted from industrial sources and vehicles. With the increasing strict norms on industrial emissions, the demand for high-performance fuels has grown. The environmental efficiency of 2-ethylhexanol (2-EH) acts as a future transport fuel substitute. 2-EH also offers a viable alternative to fossil fuel transport by raising the share of renewable content in the existing fleet of cars, thereby strengthening efforts towards a sustainable transport sector. Hence, with the rising strict regulations the market for 2-ethylhexanol is anticipated to rise in the forecast period.
2-Ethylhexanol Market Challenges
Harmful Effects of 2-Ethylhexanol
2-Ethylhexanol is found highly irritating to the skin with local redness and swelling leading to scars. It is also found irritating to the eyes. The vapor or mists are even irritating to the respiratory tract. As a volatile organic compound, 2-ethylhexanol has been identified as a source of health problems associated with indoor air quality, such as respiratory system irritation. 2-Ethylhexanol is released into the air from concrete-mounted PVC flooring which has not been fully dried. 2-EH acrylate is graded for sensitizing and irritantive effects (irritating to respiratory and skin irritant). Furthermore, in aquatic organisms, 2-ethylhexanol is harmful after short-term exposure to fish, invertebrates, and algae. Hence, various harmful effects of 2-ethylhexanol in humans, as well as aquatic nature, will further create hurdles for the 2-ethylhexanol market in the forecast period.
Technology launches, acquisitions, and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in the 2-ethylhexanol market. Major players in the 2-ethylhexanol market are OXEA GmbH, LG Chem Ltd., BASF SE, China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec Corporation), Eastman Chemical Company, Nan Ya Plastics Corp., GrupaAzoty S.A., INEOS Holdings Limited, SABIC, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, and Tianjin BohuaYongli Chemical Industry Co., Ltd, among others.
In January 2019, The Adani Group came into a joint venture with BASF company to foray into the petrochemical industry with a Rs 16,000 crore factory in Mundra, Gujarat. This investment incorporated the construction, development, and operation of production plants, including oxo-C4 (butanols and 2-ethyl hexanol), propane dehydrogenisation (PDH), glacial-accylic acid (GAA) and other downstream products.
An increase in the adoption of 2-ethylhexanol for application in various end use industries such as construction, automotive, and electronics, from emerging economies such as China, India, and others, will create new opportunities for the global 2-ethylhexanol market.
Increasing demand for 2-ethylhexanol compounds for the production of various industrial chemical products such as acrylate, plasticizers, and nitrate is also anticipated to drive the market growth.
Rising health effects such as headache, dizziness, sore eyes, and throat irritation due to the exposure of 2-ethylhexanol (2-EH) is estimated to hinder the market growth in the forecast period.
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