The worldwide market for oleochemicals is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 5.9% between 2018 and 2026. Significant surge in demand for sustainable solution and biodegradable products along with several modifications in regulations in the recent past have exceptionally increased the influence of oleochemicals in numerous segments of the chemical industry. This is expected to be the major driving factor for the industry for the next eight years.
Recent developments in various novel formulations have created opportunities for new application of these products in substances such as lubricants, polymers and biosurfactants. These application segments offer industry participants with further newer opportunities for expansion. Traditional use of these products includes personal care, surfactants, soaps, food additives and detergents. But new applications such as biopolymers, biosurfacvtants and biolubricants have been added as substituent for petroleum-based components. Hence substantial demand for biodegradable substances offering sustainable solutions for tackling stringent regulatory framework is expected to be the primary factors driving demand of these products. Consumer preferences for naturally derived products and increasing number of companies manufacturing its products in support of sustainable development as a framework for responsible & care initiatives are poised to further increase demand for oleochemicals. For example, Solvay group planned to increase its share of organic raw materials to 20% by 2020 from 11% in 2011.
Some of the recent developments include the introduction of polyamide as engineering plastics is manufactured from castor oil. Moreover, polyols that are inputs for the polyurethane are being made out of oleochemicals route with advanced technologies. The primary advantage of such interesting diversifications is that the industry participants not only are able to serve their core operations but with a much lower portfolio risk and carbon footprint. Hence, with such advantages obtained from use of oleochemicals are expected to augment further demand of these products.
Biolubricants account for approximately over 3% of the lubricants produced and this is increasing significantly annually. Cargill have innovated an electrical installation fluid that is fully based on soybean oil. The market for biolubricants is increasing at around 40% annually and by 2020 these products are expected to account for 7 percent of the overall lubricants market by 2020. Various new aged surfactants such as the methyl ether sulfonate that is a oleochemicals derived alternative for linear alkyl benzene sulfonate are some other newer products in the market with surging demand from several application segments globally.
Asia Pacific region was the largest regional segment globally. The region’s growing food & beverage, chemical, personal care industries etc. are the major driving sources of demand of these products. China, India, Malaysia, Japan, Indonesia etc. are not only the major consumers but also leading producers globally. Europe and the U.S. has also been the leading market for oleochemicals, however the scenario has changed over the recent past. The significantly increasing rate of industrialization in Asia Pacific region has attracted numerous manufacturers which have turned it into a major exporter of these products.
Some of the leading industry participants include Kuala Lumpur KepongBerhad, Ecogreen Oleochemicals, Oleon, Godrej Industries, SABIC, Evyap, China Sanjiang Fine Chemicals, Kao Chemicals, Vantage Specialty Chemicals, Archer Daniels Midland, Evonik Industries, Emery Oleochemicals, Wilmar International, TerraVia, AkzoNobel, Cargill, BASF, Eastman Chemical Company , PTT Global Chemical Public Company Limited , Alnor Oil Co, Inc., Berg + Schmidt , Isosciences LLC , Vegetable Vitamin Foods Company and MYRIANT.