1, 3-Propanediol (PDO) is a high value specialty monomer that is extensively used as an industrial building block for producing polyurethanes, polyesters, polyethers and other composite materials. PDO was earlier manufactured from acrolein (unsaturated aldehyde, propenal), which is derived from petroleum feedstock; however; it is now produced using renewable sources such as corn and biodiesel. Majority of PDO produced is used in the manufacturing of polytrimethylene terephthalate (PTT). PDO imparts unique features such as elastic recovery and superior stretching to PTT which makes it a potential substitute for nylon. PDO also finds applications in polyurethane, personal care & detergents and others (engine coolants, heat transfer fluids, and unsaturated polyester resins). PDO is used in the formulations of variety of products such as adhesives, laminates, moldings and coatings, among others.
The PTT market has been the largest consumer of PDO in the last few years. Unique properties such as resilience, elastic recovery, ease of dyeing and inherent stain resistance makes PTT one of the well suited polymers for manufacturing textile fibers and carpets. PDO market in terms of volume in PTT application is expected to grow at the estimated CAGR of 16.3% from 2013 to 2019. Polyurethane market is the next largest consumer of PDO. Using PDO it is possible to manufacture polyurethane having 70% of sustainable renewable content. Thus, PDO is widely replacing 1, 4-butanediol (BDO) which was the conventional raw material for manufacturing polyurethane.
The market for PDO for polyurethane application was valued at USD 18.9 million in 2012. PDO is also used in personal care & cosmetic products as they impart beneficial properties such as solvency and moisturisation to the products. Moreover, propylene glycol which is used as a basic chemical in cosmetic formulations is known to cause severe skin allergies on sensitive skin than that compared with PDO. Hence, the use of PDO instead of propylene glycol is constantly increasing in personal care & cosmetic products. Personal care & detergents segment accounted for nearly 8.2% of the overall PDO consumption in 2012. PDO is widely used in other applications such as transfer fluid, unsaturated polyester resins, engine coolants and deicing fluid among others. The market of PDO for other application is expected to reach USD 30.1 million by 2019.
North America dominated PDO market and accounted for more than 74.5% of the market in 2012. The growing carpet and textile industry in U.S. is driving the market in this region. The Asia Pacific market was valued at USD 32.9 million in 2012. Since past five years, many Chinese companies have started their PDO pilot-scale production and are expected to enter the market in near future which in turn would boost the growth of PDO market in Asia Pacific region. The demand of PDO in Rest of the World (RoW) is expected to grow at a CAGR of 14.8% from 2013 to 2019. The demand of PDO in Europe accounted for nearly 5% in 2012. The European market is expected to reach USD 33.3 million by 2019.
The global PDO market is highly monopolized as DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products accounted for nearly 89% of the market in 2012. However, many new companies are expected to enter the market in near future as presently many companies are running small scale pilot production units of PDO. By 2019, Asia Pacific is expected to be one of the largest manufacturers of PDO mainly due to the low raw material prices and cheap labor. Entry of new players in the market would explore new technologies to manufacture PDO from various renewable resources.
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