The global diethylene glycol (DEG) market size was worth USD 2,511 million in 2021. It is projected to reach USD 3,778 million by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 4% during the forecast period (2022–2030). Diethylene glycol (DEG) is an organic substance created when ethylene oxide partially hydrolyzes. It is a colorless, low volatile, viscosity liquid that tastes sweet. It is soluble in organic solvents such as acetone, water, alcohol, and others. DEG is a popular solvent for oils, resins, paint pigments, textile dyes, and printing. Additionally, it serves as a raw material for producing plasticizers, thermoplastic polyurethanes, and polyester resins.
The growth in demand for diethylene glycol in the plastic, cement, automotive, and paints & coatings sectors is the main factor driving the market globally. The production of plasticizers for paper, synthetic sponges, and flexible PVC commonly use DEG as a raw ingredient. The primary industries where flexible PVC is used include pipe, flooring, wall coverings, napkins, adhesive films, pool liners, extruded wires, automotive, synthetic leather coated fabrics, and medical equipment.
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In developing nations like China, India, and Brazil, urbanization and industrialization are happening quickly, which has increased the demand for new dwellings to accommodate the expanding population in both urban and rural areas. Due to this, the building and construction industry has seen tremendous growth in recent years, which has increased both the demand for and the production of cement in these nations. DEG is frequently used in the cement industry as a grinding aid to raise cement fineness, ensure smooth mill operation, boost throughput, and lower energy consumption. The demand for DEG is anticipated to increase from cement producers throughout the forecast period due to the increase in cement demand and production.
Cement production reportedly reached 329 million tons (MT) in FY20 and is anticipated to reach 381 MT by FY22, according to India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF). However, consumption was 327 MT in FY20 and is projected to be 379 MT in FY22. By 2020, the ability to produce cement reached 550 MT. India has extensive limestone reserves of good quality and quantity, which presents a tremendous growth opportunity for the cement sector. Therefore, it is projected that the demand for the diethylene glycol market from the cement sector will increase significantly during the forecast period.
Demand for paints and coatings increased as the building, cork, automotive, and furniture sectors expanded in developing nations like Brazil, China, and India. Alkyd resins used in creating paints are produced using DEG as a modifier. Increased disposable wealth among people in these nations increased the demand for furnishings and cars. The production of paints and coatings increased due to the automobile and manufacturing industries, which will ultimately drive up demand for DEG in the future.
Attributed to adverse effects of diethylene glycol on humans, it is not allowed for use in food and drugs. The US Code of Federal Regulations allows no more than 0.2% of diethylene glycol in polyethylene glycol when the latter is used as a food additive. The Australian government does not allow DEG as a food additive; it is only allowed at less than 0.25% w/w of DEG as an impurity of polyethylene glycol (PEG), even in toothpaste. Due to these factors, the market's growth is anticipated to be hampered during the forecast period.
According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), from 2016-2020, 96 patents were registered related to diethylene glycol as compared to 40 patents registered during 2011-2015, thereby registering growth in patent registrations by nearly 1.4 times. The maximum number of patents related to diethylene glycol was reported in China during 2016-2020, with an 82.1% share of the overall patents. China led the patent registration, owing to the active involvement of market players and large-scale utilization of diethylene glycol in the plastic industry, paints and coatings, automotive, agrochemical, oil and gas, cement, textiles, and cosmetic and personal care. China, followed by Japan, occupied 4.0% of the total patents filed from 2016 to 2020. Rising patent registrations regarding the manufacturing of diethylene glycol, its derivatives, and their usage are projected to drive the market's growth in the near future.
The global diethylene glycol market share is segmented based on application, end-use industry, and region.
By application, the global diethylene glycol market is segmented into Plasticizer, Solvent (paint pigments, printing inks, dye formation), Polyester Resin, Chemical Intermediate (unsaturated resin, thermoplastic polyurethanes, PEG, TriEG, TetraEG, polyester polyols, emulsifiers, morpholine), Freezing Point Depressant (antifreeze coolant, heat transfer fluids), Lubricant (polishes, glass cement grinding, mold release agents), Dehydrant, Brake Fluids, Cosmetic & Personal Care, and Others.
The Plasticizer segment is the highest contributor to the market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 5.2% during the forecast period. Flexible PVC majorly finds applications in the pipe, wall covering, flooring, napkins, pool liners, adhesive films, extruded wires, synthetic leather coated textiles, automotive, and medical devices. Flexible PVC is increasingly in demand as the demand for lightweight PVC materials in various end-use sectors grows, as does the need for flexible PVC's longer lifespan compared to conventional PVC. Additionally, as the population and standard of living rise, so is the demand for flexible PVC materials in various automotive and construction applications. As a result of rising flexible PVC use, plasticizer demand has increased, ultimately leading to rising DEG demand from the plastics industry throughout the projection period.
The Intermediate Chemical segment is the fastest growing. In automobiles, thermoplastic polyurethane is used as an alternative to metal to enhance fuel efficiency by reducing automobile weight. Thermoplastic polyurethane, owing to its properties, such as toughness, abrasion resistance, and FST compliance, is widely used for manufacturing various aircraft components and interior components such as electronic housings, armrests, seat covers, and high touch surfaces. The robust growth of the automotive industry is driven by increasing per capita disposable income, rapid urbanization, and global economic growth. This is expected to be the significant factor in surging the demand and production of thermoplastic polyurethanes and thus eventually surge the demand for diethylene glycol from polyurethane manufacturers.
By end-use industry, the global diethylene glycol market is divided into Plastic, Paints & Coatings, Automotive, Agrochemical, Oil & Gas, Cement, Textiles, Cosmetic & Personal Care, and Others.
The Plastic Industry is the highest contributor to the market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 5.1% during the forecast period. The primary industries where flexible PVC is used include pipe, flooring, wall coverings, napkins, adhesive films, pool liners, extruded wires, automotive, synthetic leather coated fabrics, and medical equipment. The need for flexible PVC has expanded due to the rising demand for lightweight PVC materials across various end-use sectors and their longer lifetimes than traditional PVC. Additionally, as the population and standard of living rise, so is the demand for flexible PVC materials in various automotive and construction applications. As a result of rising flexible PVC use, plasticizer demand has increased, ultimately leading to rising DEG demand from the plastics industry throughout the projection period.
The Paints & Coatings industry is the fastest growing. In developing nations like China and India, where industrialization and urbanization are happening quickly, there is a massive demand for new dwellings to accommodate the expanding population in urban and rural areas. Consequently, the building & construction industry has been growing significantly in recent years, which led to a surge in demand and production of paints & coatings for newly constructed houses and buildings across these countries. This is expected to surge the demand for solvent from paints & coatings manufacturers, which eventually will surge the demand for DEG in the coming years.
Region-wise, the global diethylene glycol market share is studied across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
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Asia-Pacific is the highest revenue contributor and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 5.2% during the forecast period. The growing manufacturing sector across the region is expected to surge the demand for plastic in the automotive and construction industries. Recently, India and China have witnessed a spike in automotive production, owing to technology transfer to the sector from the Western markets. In addition, raw materials and labor at low prices have made various automobile manufacturers set up their manufacturing plants across these countries. Attributed to the surge in automobile production, the demand and production of freezing point depressants, such as antifreeze coolant and heat transfer fluids, have increased significantly. This factor is expected to surge the demand for the diethylene glycol market from freezing point depressant manufacturers during the forecast period.
Europe is the second-largest region and is projected to reach USD 995 million by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 4.5%. It is predicted that increased funding from the EU will promote the growth of the construction industry in the area together with supportive actions taken by various governments, such as subsidies, tax breaks, and incentives. During the projected period, an increase in the construction industry is anticipated in several nations, including the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Sweden, and Ireland. DEG is utilized as a modifier to manufacture alkyd resins in formulating paints. Attributed to the surge in demand for paints & coatings from the construction industry, the production of the product has surged significantly, which is expected to surge the demand for diethylene glycol market from paints & coatings manufacturers during the forecast period.
North America is the third largest region. The most significant energy expense for most homes is heating and cooling, which, according to the US Department of Energy, consumes around 55% of the energy consumed in a typical US home. Building contractors use rigid polyurethane and polyisocyanurate foams to maintain consistent temperatures and reduce noise levels in residential and commercial structures. These foams are effective insulation materials used in roof and wall insulation, insulated windows, doors, and air barrier sealants. The unique applications of foams in the construction industry are expected to surge the demand for polyurethane in North America, which eventually will drive the growth of the diethylene glycol market across North America during the forecast period.