Contested Market: Ceresana publishes new study on the market for Butanol

Butanol is a higher alcohol mainly manufactured from propylene. Butanol and its derivatives are important ingredients of paints and varnishes, especially so in water-borne formulations. According to the latest market report of Ceresana, global demand for butanol rose by, on average, 2.7% p.a. between 2005 and 2013. The market research institute, however, is expecting surplus production of butanol on the global market in 2021.

Solvents Main Application

The by far largest share of butanol output, almost 1.5 million tonnes in 2013, is consumed in the production of acrylate, which serves as solvent in paints, but also is used in detergents, adhesives, and textiles. Manufacturers of acetate utilize the second largest amount of butanol; acetate is a solvent used in vehicles coatings and an ingredient in cosmetics and pharmaceutical drugs. Glycol ethers based on butanol are highly suitable for the use as solvent in water-borne varnishes, given their miscibility with water. Almost 12% of total global butanol output are directly used as solvent. Also, phthalates manufactured from butanol are playing an important role as plasticizer in the processing of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC).

China Dominating Butanol Demand

In 2013, Chinese processors consumed about the same amount of butanol as Western Europe and North America taken together. Whereas the consumption of butanol will rise but moderately in established industrialized countries, the construction, wood processing, and automotive industries in China will continue their dynamic development. Until 2021, demand for butanol in China is projected to rise to approx. 1.64 million tonnes; thus, China will continue to expand its position as market leader even further. „There is significant competition for export markets that are still increasing demand for butanol", explains Oliver Kutsch, CEO of Ceresana. „Apart from China, smaller markets like Brazil also fall into this category. Yet as these countries already possess sufficient capacities to satisfy domestic demand or are increasing output, surplus production is rising. Countries reporting an excessive output of butanol are the USA in particular, but also Russia, Malaysia, Taiwan, and South Africa."

Growth Market Biobutanol

Butanol manufactured from biomass by fermentative processes offers considerable potential for the biofuel industry. Compared to ethanol-based biofuel, butanol has a higher energy content. Additionally, it is easily miscible with diesel and gasoline and can be combusted in conventional, unmodified Otto-cycle engines. Bioethanol, however, already is an established biofuel in Europe and North America, and a changeover of production facilities to manufacture biobutanol would be expensive. Another possibility is converting the bioethanol that is being produced into butanol. Adequate technologies, however, are still in the initial stages of development.

The Study in Brief:

Chapter 1 is a description and analysis of the global market for butanol. Development of demand, revenues, and production is explained in detail. Additionally, data on existing and future production capacity is provided. This report also offers an extensive insight into the development in individual countries and regions.

Chapter 2 examines the 12 largest countries of the market in more detail and provides information on demand, revenues, production, import, and export of butanol as well as on current and future capacities. Data covering the applications acrylate, acetate, glycol ethers, solvents, plasticizers, and other applications is given as well.

Chapter 3 provides a detailed analysis of applications of butanol, e.g. its use in the manufacturing of acrylate and in other applications. This study contains data on demand development, split by Western Europe, Eastern Europe, North America, South America, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East/Africa as well as consumption figures for individual countries in these regions.

Chapter 4 is a useful directory of producers, clearly arranged according to contact details, turnover, profit, product range, production sites, profile summary, product-specific information as well as existing and future capacities at individual production sites.
Extensive profiles of 37 manufacturers are provided, such as BASF SE, BASF Petronas Chemicals, The Dow Chemical Company, Eastman Chemical Company, Formosa Plastics Group, Gazprom Neftekhim Salavat JSC, KH Neochem Co., Ltd., OXEA S.à.r.l., PetroChina Company Limited, Sasol Limited, SINOPEC Corp. (note: Profiles are assigned to the country in which the company or holding is headquartered. Company profiles also include joint ventures and subsidiaries.).

About Ceresana

Ceresana is a leading international market research and consultancy company for the industrial sector and operates branch offices in Constance, Vienna and Hong Kong. For more than 10 years, Ceresana has been supplying several thousand customers from 55 countries with up-to-date market intelligence. Extensive market knowledge creates new prospects for strategic and operational decisions.

Ceresana's clients profit from implementation-oriented consulting services, tailor-made single-client studies and more than 90 independent multi-client market studies.

Ceresana's analysts are experts in the following markets: Chemicals, plastics, additives, commodities, industrial components, consumer goods, packaging, agriculture, and construction materials.

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