The Total Addressable Market (TAM) for dicyclopentadiene was valued at USD 850.56 million in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 1,353.81 million by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 5.3% during the forecast period (2023–2031). Dicyclopentadiene, or DCPD, is a substance with the chemical formula C10H12. A petrochemical by-product of ethylene is dicyclopentadiene. DCPD is used as a chemical intermediary in the production of some resins and pesticides. Additionally, it is utilized to create paints, varnishes, and plastic flame retardants. DCPD pollutes the air, water, and soil when produced, used, transported, or discarded into the environment. Short-term exposure to DCPD at 1 to 5 parts per million (ppm) has been associated with eye, skin, and throat discomfort. The lungs, kidneys, and nervous system may suffer adverse effects from repeated, prolonged exposure.
The exterior bodies of cars, trucks, and other machines, as well as vehicle coverings like hoods and shields, are made of DCPD resin because of their unique properties. The product is favored over thermoplastic polymer in the automotive industry and other industries because it solves automotive problems and reduces costs on the assembly line by consolidating parts. In the marine and caustic or chlorine industries, DCPD is used for cell cover because it does not corrode. Due to its superior electrical insulation, low thermal conductivity, and complete chemical inertness to reactants and products, its use in the marine industry will also rise.
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Preferred Use for Unsaturated Polyester Resin and Hydrocarbon Resin in Various End-User Industries
Unsaturated polyester resin is an easily printable liquid polymer that keeps the solid shape taken in the mold once cured. Dicyclopentadiene-modified polyester resins are particularly suited for the manufacturers of large glass fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) articles, including sanitary ware, tanks, pipes, gratings, and high-performance components for the marine and transportation industries, such as closure panels, body panels, fenders, and boat hulls and decks. They also have better resistance to heat and oxygen, are easier to work with, and shrink less than traditional unsaturated polyesters. Unsaturated polyester resin is widely used because it is accessible, affordable, consistent in size, and available in various grades. Unsaturated polyester resin is also used to make polymer cement, which is then used to make sewer gutters, steps, wall and facade panels, and window sills.
Hydrocarbon resins are glass-like oligomers produced by the polymerization of by-product streams, such as aliphatic (C5), aromatic (C9), dicyclopentadiene, or mixtures of these, resulting primarily from the cracking of petroleum hydrocarbons for ethylene production. Hydrocarbon resins are used as tackifiers, performance modifiers, and homogenizing agents. They are extensively used to manufacture rubbers, coatings, printing inks, and adhesives. The largest market for hydrocarbon resins is hot melts, PSA tapes, and labels. They improve tack and peel strengths and increase the glass transition temperature, improving shear strength. Hence, dicyclopentadiene in unsaturated polyester and hydrocarbon resin used in various industries helps drive the market.
Use in EPDM Elastomer
Dienes like ethylidene norbornene (ENB), dicyclopentadiene, and vinyl norbornene (VNB) are used to make EPDM rubber. Depending on the grade and formulation, EPDM has good low-temperature properties, with elastic properties down to -40 °C. It can resist abrasion, UV rays, ozone, aging, weather, and waterproofing. EPDM is used in industrial settings because it is resistant to wear and tear, is waterproof, and is electrically insulated. Electrical insulators, connectors for wire and cable, and parts like hoses, gaskets, and O-rings for water systems are all EPDM. It manifests as belts, grommets, diaphragms, and bladders for accumulators.
Rapid industrialization, urbanization, and global infrastructure growth encourage using EPDM rubber in building projects. The growth of the dicyclopentadiene market is driven by the rise of the construction industry in developing countries, especially India and China, where more homes and businesses are being built, as well as by rising incomes and better living standards. The Indian government's growing investment in infrastructure projects like the Green Corridor, Smart Cities Mission, and port construction is boosting the market's expansion. In addition, the Chinese government launched the One Belt, One Road project to construct transportation infrastructure at the end of 2013, which is likely to spur the development of the construction industry and drive the global market.
Availability of Substitutes and Volatile Raw Material Prices
Phthalic anhydride can replace dicyclopentadiene in unsaturated polyester resin and hydrocarbon resin production. The need for phthalic anhydride is driven by how often unsaturated polyester resin is used as a matrix for FRP. Dicyclopentadiene is made when crude C5 streams are separated, a waste product of making ethylene. The availability and cost of the raw materials used to make it constantly fluctuate because they are based on petroleum. On the other hand, the pandemic reduced global demand for oil by about 29 million barrels a day from about 100 million a year ago.
OPEC and other oil companies agreed to cut production by 9.7 million barrels per day, much less than was needed. This impact of COVID-19 left the market with too much oil and no buyers. The pandemic also caused a crash in oil prices around the world. Prices went down; by April 2020, a barrel of oil cost USD 37. Moreover, the regulations imposed regarding environmental concerns and the depletion of fossil fuels, coupled with an inclination toward plant-based chemicals, act as a restraint on market growth.
Synthesis of Bio-Based Dicyclopentadiene and Bio-Based Unsaturated Polyester Resins
It has become crucial to produce bio-based dicyclopentadiene due to the switch from cracking naphtha to cracking ethane to make ethylene, which reduces the amount of pyrolysis gasoline. The process uses furfural, produced from corn bran and fiber. Furfural is used owing to its high hemicellulose content compared to its alternatives. In line with the current concerns about exploring alternatives to petroleum and reducing environmental pollution, research is increasingly being directed to develop polymeric materials from renewable resources, such as proteins, oils, and carbohydrates.
Among all the biomass-derived feedstocks, plant oils are the primary choice to prepare UPRs because of their abundance, low toxicity, biodegradability, and triglyceride structures suitable for further chemical modification. As a result, plant oil-based UPRs have attracted considerable attention. A good way to make oil-based UPRs is to mix plant oils or their derivatives with UPRs made from petroleum. The toughness typically seems to improve when flexible oil-based modifiers are added to petroleum-based UPRs, which gives the market a chance to expand.
The global dicyclopentadiene market is segmented by grade and application.
By grade, the global dicyclopentadiene market is divided into polyester grade, hydrocarbon grade, high purity grade, and others.
The polyester grade segment is the highest contributor to the market and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 5.5% over the forecast period. Polyester-grade dicyclopentadiene is specifically used in the production of unsaturated polyester resins. It is generally 75–85% pure and contains less than 0.1% DCPD trimers by weight. It has good color qualities and almost no tendency to form gel particles that can clog spraying equipment and filters used to make polyester products. In the future, the demand for polyester-grade dicyclopentadiene is likely to be driven by the growing need for unsaturated polyester resins in making different kinds of plastic products.
Dicyclopentadiene, made from hydrocarbons, is usually considered a highly reactive intermediate that can react with many different monomers. As a result, it is primarily used to produce various hydrocarbon resins, such as C5 and C9 aliphatic and aromatic resins. In order to reduce the tackyfying effect in paint, printing ink, adhesives, and rubbers, hydrocarbon resins are primarily used. As a result, the future expansion of this market segment should be bolstered by the rising interest in these goods.
By application, the global dicyclopentadiene market is divided into unsaturated polyester resin, hydrocarbon resin, EPDM elastomers, cyclic olefin polymer (COP) and copolymer (COC), poly-DCPD, and others.
The unsaturated polyester resin segment is the highest market and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 5.61% over the forecast period. Dicyclopentadiene is often used to make unsaturated polyester resins because it doesn't shrink or contain much styrene. Unsaturated polyesters are the third-largest class of thermoset molding resins. These typically create filled and fiber-reinforced plastics, such as pipes, storage tanks, and bathroom fixtures. In addition, fiber-reinforced plastics are used in the automotive and shipping industries to fabricate various body parts, such as fenders, body panels, and hulls. The unsaturated polyester resins are also used to make different coatings and glues. The growing demand for unsaturated polyester resins in the above uses will likely be good for the global dicyclopentadiene (DCPD) market.
Hydrocarbon resins are a type of thermoplastic polymer that is made by polymerizing unsaturated hydrocarbons. They are amorphous and do not have crystals. C5 aliphatic, C9 aromatic, and DCPD cycloaliphatic are the three main types of hydrocarbon resins. These resins are used in numerous types of rubber, coatings, printing inks, and glues. Hydrocarbon resins help improve the tack and peel strengths of the rubber adhesives. On the contrary, coatings provide superior pigment wetting, enhanced adhesion, gloss, and film hardness attributed to the end products.
Asia-Pacific Dominates the Global Market
By region, the global dicyclopentadiene market is divided into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.
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Asia-Pacific is the most significant shareholder in the global dicyclopentadiene market and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 4.01% during the forecast period. The production of unsaturated polyester resin has grown quickly, which has been the main reason for the growth of markets in the region. The largest consumer of dicyclopentadiene is Japan, and it is anticipated that other nations like China, India, South Korea, and Indonesia will experience significant market growth as a result of the expanding use of polyester resin in electrical and electronic components, building and construction applications as well as its rising demand in the automotive and marine industries. The Asia-Pacific region's dicyclopentadiene (DCPD) market is also expected to get a big boost from the growing demand for different plastics, adhesives, and coatings.
North America is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.52% over the forecast period. Due to the area's expanding polymer and plastics industry, the U.S. is predicted to be in the lead. The strong plastics and auto manufacturing industries are the main reasons for the high demand in the area. Also, easy access to essential petroleum feedstocks is expected to increase both the production and demand for dicyclopentadiene (DCPD) in the North American region.
Europe is expected to grow significantly over the forecast period. Europe is home to some of the biggest automakers in the world, including Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and FIAT. These companies significantly increase demand for plastics, synthetic rubber, and automotive coatings. Dicyclopentadiene (DCPD), used as a raw material to create coatings, plastics, and EPDM rubber, is in high demand in the area. Demand for dicyclopentadiene (DCPD) and cyclic olefin polymer (COP) and copolymer (COC) is also anticipated to be driven by the expansion of the medical device manufacturing sector.
The Latin American regional market is driven by growing demand for various types of plastics in the production of automobiles, consumer durables, and electronics goods in Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina, which is expected to drive regional product demand over the forecast period. The ready availability of necessary raw materials in the Middle East and Africa, coupled with growing investments in the production of various types of polymers, plastics, and coatings, is expected to drive the demand for cyclopentadiene (DCPD) intermediates within the region.
The key players in the global dicyclopentadiene market are