Home Bulk Chemicals Glycerol Market Size, Analysis & Demand by 2031

Glycerol Market

Glycerol Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Source (Biodiesel, Fatty Alcohol, Fatty Acids, Soaps), By Type (Crude, Refined), By End-User (Food and Beverage, Pharmaceutical, Nutraceutical, Personal Care and Cosmetics, Industrial, Others) and By Region(North America, Europe, APAC, Middle East and Africa, LATAM) Forecasts, 2023-2031

Report Code: SRCH55773DR
Study Period 2019-2031 CAGR 6.3%
Historical Period 2019-2021 Forecast Period 2023-2031
Base Year 2022 Base Year Market Size USD 3.12 Billion
Forecast Year 2031 Forecast Year Market Size USD 5.41 Billion
Largest Market Asia Pacific Fastest Growing Market Europe
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Market Overview

The global glycerol market revenue was valued at USD 3.12 billion in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 5.41 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 6.30% over the forecast period (2023–2031). Many industries use glycerol, including food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, and personal care, which is predicted to propel its demand dramatically in the upcoming years.

A member of the alcohol family of chemical substances, glycerol is a solid polyol that is thick, transparent, and odorless. It is made when natural oils and fats in plants and animals undergo hydrolysis. Since it is biodegradable, glycerol is used in the food and beverage (F&B) industry as a solvent, sweetener, stabilizer, softening agent, plasticizer, humectant, filler, and emollient. It is available in refined and crude forms. It also produces vaccines, serums, suppositories, elixirs, expectorants, drug solvents, cough syrups, and cardiac medications.

Glycerol is becoming more popular among consumers due to its high nutritional value and lack of toxicity. It can be derived from both natural and petrochemical sources. Glycerol is simple to store and environmentally safe. It is also commonly used to improve athletes' hydration, performance, and skin conditions and relieve constipation.

Market Dynamics

Global Glycerol Market Drivers:

Increasing Demand from Various Consumer Application Sectors

Glycerol has applications in numerous industries, such as personal care, pharmaceuticals, and food and beverages. Its demand is expected to rise significantly in the coming years due to its growing utilization in these applications. In the personal care industry, glycerol is widely utilized in several personal care products, such as skin care products, shaving creams, hair care products, soaps, and water-based personal lubricants. The product is witnessing increasing demand in the cosmetics industry due to growing concerns regarding personal health and hygiene. Moreover, the growing demand for cosmetic products in European countries like Germany, Italy, France, and the U.K. is expected to further augment its market growth.

Glycerol is a moisturizer in skin care products as it prevents dryness and hydrates skin. In the pharmaceutical industry, glycerol treats glaucoma, excessive intracranial pressure, angina, and constipation. It is also used in solid dosage forms as a tablet-holding agent. Changing environmental patterns and increasing spending on medicines are expected to augment the growth of the pharmaceuticals market, increasing the demand for glycerol over the forecast period.

Glycerol is widely used as a flavoring agent in beverages and as a softening agent in confectionaries in the food and beverages industry. It is used as an artificial sweetener due to the presence of high-calorie content in it, and the U.S. FDA has approved the use of glycerol as a caloric macronutrient. As a result, the American Dietetic Association has categorized glycerol as a carbohydrate, and manufacturers in the U.S. have labeled glycerol safe to sell as carbohydrates. Moreover, the European Union's Foods Standards Agency has included glycerol in the additives list for the food industry, resulting in its increased application scope.

Increasing Demand for Oleochemicals

Oleochemicals are primarily derived from oilseeds or animal fats and are analogous to petrochemicals. Basic oleochemicals include fatty acids, esters, alcohols, glycerol, and amines. Oleochemical demand is expected to be driven by the volatility of crude oil prices during the forecast period. Moreover, REACH regulations meant to reduce dependence on crude oil by simultaneously promoting the production of biobased alternatives, such as biodiesel, are expected to further drive demand for oleochemicals over the forecast period. This is likely to fuel the demand for glycerol as it is a byproduct of biodiesel.

Furthermore, the demand for oleochemicals is expected to grow due to the increased need for biodegradable and sustainable products. Glycerol is a biodegradable product with non-toxicity properties compared to its substitutes, such as DEG and propylene glycol. DEG and propylene glycol have negative health effects and are highly toxic when used in cosmetic and personal care products. Moreover, the market demand for nutrient-dense food has increased due to the rising incidence of diabetes and shifting dietary habits. Thus, the market demand for glycerol will be triggered in the coming years.

Global Glycerol Market Restraint:

Uncertainty in Feedstock Supply and Raw Material Prices

Uncertainty in feedstock supply is expected to be a major restraint for the market. Due to the increasing food consumption, the supply of vegetable oils, as raw material for glycerol production, is likely to be affected and put pressure on glycerol prices over the forecast period. Low margins for refining processes are also likely to restrain the growth of the glycerol market in the coming years.

Furthermore, the growing population in China, India, and Indonesia has augmented the use of vegetable oil for cooking. Therefore, increasing food consumption is expected to affect the availability of raw materials for glycerol production. Moreover, the deficit in the availability of raw materials due to the demand from major end-user industries is likely to hamper the supply of glycerol across different regions.

Global Glycerol Market Opportunities:

Environment-Friendly Nature

Glycerol is an environment-friendly product derived from natural sources like animal fats and plant oils. Glycerol is less toxic than its substitutes, such as DEG, ceramides, and propylene glycols. Glycerol is less toxic than organic solvents such as C6H14 because of its high LD50. The higher the LD50 dose, the less toxic the chemical. The non-toxic nature of glycerol makes it preferable for use in the food and beverages industry.

Glycerol has a very low bioconcentration factor (BCF) of 3.162. BCF indicates that glycerol concentration in an organism is not more than its concentration in the environment, enabling glycerol as a biodegradable product. Therefore, its biodegradable and non-toxic properties are expected to augment its use in catalytic reactions in a refinery, where biodegradable properties of the substance are preferred during the reaction. Such properties of glycerol provide lucrative market potential.

Regional Analysis

Asia-Pacific Dominates the Global Market

Region-wise, the global glycerol market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Central and South America, and the Middle East and Africa.

Asia-Pacific is the most significant global glycerol market shareholder and is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 6.70% during the forecast period. Glycerol prices in the Asia-Pacific region more than doubled in the first half of 2021 due to strong end-user industry demand and limited supply due to a lack of essential feedstock chemicals. The volume of glycerin manufactured in Indonesia was reduced due to the lack of feedstock. Due to COVID-19's severe effects on Southeast Asia, the pharmaceutical and personal care industries have the highest demand for hand sanitizers. The pharmaceutical industry is rapidly expanding in India, China, and Indonesia due to growing healthcare expenditures and consumer awareness of chronic illnesses.

Moreover, the demand for glycerol is expected to rise in the future. Asia accounted for 63% of all food and beverage establishments globally in 2020, making it the largest market. The food and beverage industry is expected to develop in the coming years due to shifting lifestyle trends, rising convenience food consumption, and increasing numbers of working women in the area. This is expected to act as a market driver for the glycerol market in the region as glycerol finds its application as a solvent for food colors and flavors in the food and beverage industry.

Europe is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.80% during the forecast period. Europe is the world's key producer of glycerol and biodiesel and accounts for the second-largest share of the global glycerin market. The top glycerol producers in Europe are Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, and France. The demand for biofuels in European nations is potentially high. As a result, biodiesel production is anticipated to increase in the upcoming years, which will benefit the glycerol industry. The first quarter of 2021 saw an increase in the supply of glycerin due to higher feedstock availability and significant biodiesel output.

The U.K. is one of Europe's biggest national markets for personal care and cosmetics, the largest regional market. In 2020, 18.94 Kilotons of glycerol were consumed by the personal care and cosmetics application market. In the upcoming years, the demand for glycerol will likely be driven by significant investments made by major players in the cosmetics industry, rising consumer spending, and the introduction of new and innovative personal care products. The U.K. exported approximately 2.27 million kg of glycerol in 2020.

North America is the third largest region. Glycerin mainly comes from biodiesel refineries in the U.S. The glycerin supplies in the region improved in the second quarter of 2021 compared to the previous quarter due to the increased industrial manufacturing in the U.S. Gulf region after post-winter-storm-led disruptions. The region witnessed a large volume of glycerin imports from Asia and Latin America in the second quarter of 2021. Biodiesel is Canada's major glycerin source and is expected to hold the largest market share in the coming years. The Clean Fuel Standard Draft regulation, published in Canada, is likely to boost the biofuel industry in the country in the coming years. This is likely to bolster the usage of biodiesel for glycerin production.

Moreover, the increase in the per capita income of the Canadian population over the past few years has improved consumer spending, which is driving the demand for premium cosmetic products in the country, which is predicted to have a positive impact on personal care and cosmetics end-user segment of the glycerin market.

Report Scope

Report Metric Details
Segmentations
By Source
  1. Biodiesel
  2. Fatty Alcohol
  3. Fatty Acids
  4. Soaps
By Type
  1. Crude
  2. Refined
By End-User
  1. Food and Beverage
  2. Pharmaceutical
  3. Nutraceutical
  4. Personal Care and Cosmetics
  5. Industrial
  6. Others
Company Profiles BASF SE Procter & Gamble Cargill Dow Wilmar International Fine Chemicals & Scientific Co. Aemetis Inc. Godrej Industries Limited Emery Oleochemicals Kao Corporation
Geographies Covered
North America U.S. Canada
Europe U.K. Germany France Spain Italy Russia Nordic Benelux Rest of Europe
APAC China Korea Japan India Australia Singapore Taiwan South East Asia Rest of Asia-Pacific
Middle East and Africa UAE Turkey Saudi Arabia South Africa Egypt Nigeria Rest of MEA
LATAM Brazil Mexico Argentina Chile Colombia Rest of LATAM
Report Coverage Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends
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Segmental Analysis

The global glycerol market is segmented into source, type, and end-user.

By source, the global glycerol market is categorized into biodiesel, fatty alcohol, fatty acid, and soap. 

The biodiesel segment dominates the global market and is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 6.10% during the forecast period. Glycerol is a byproduct of the chemical and enzymatic processes used to make biodiesel fuels as well as the manufacturing of bioethanol. Due to its low cost and rising production of biodiesels as alternatives to traditional diesel due to its biodegradable, renewable, non-toxic, and lower emission features, biodiesel is one of the most popular sources of glycerol. It is produced by the transesterification process of vegetable oils or animal fats with methanol.

Furthermore, it is a preferred alternative to conventional diesel because of the scarcity of fossil fuels, increased pollutant emissions, and increasing costs. As a result, biodiesel production has increased to a great extent, fueled by Directive 2009/28/E.C. of the European Union, which promotes the use of energy from renewable sources involving biofuels and bioliquids. This is a primary reason for glycerol's decreased cost and easy availability, resulting in higher demand.

Based on type, the global glycerol market is categorized into crude and refined glycerol. 

The crude segment owns the highest market share and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 6.40% during the forecast period. Crude glycerol from biodiesel production is impure, making it less economically valuable. It was generated to meet the rapidly increasing demand from the biodiesel industry worldwide. It contains several impurities, such as fatty acid methyl esters, fatty acids, methanol, soap, and water. The disposal of crude glycerol is expensive; thus, producers are seeking alternative methods for its disposal and utilization, such as anaerobic digestion, animal feeds, combustion, composting, and biological conversions.

Crude glycerol is less popular because it mostly comprises contaminants such as free fatty acids and methanol. The biodiesel producers use excessive methanol for faster completion of chemical transesterification; however, it leads to excess impurities in the final product, i.e., crude glycerol. It is a supplement for cattle feed and pig and broiler feed production. The product smooths and imparts moisture to the skin and is widely used in personal care products. The glycerol layers on soap surfaces result from a reaction between feedstock and catalyst.

In addition to methanol and soaps, crude glycerol contains various elements, such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, or sulfur. Since crude glycerol is a byproduct of biodiesel, its production has soared alongside that of biodiesel worldwide. Moreover, it is widely used as feedstock to produce other value-added chemicals and animal feeds. The increased demand for crude glycerol in cosmetic and nutraceutical products is anticipated to affect market expansion favorably throughout the upcoming years.

Based on end-users, the global glycerol market is categorized into food and beverage, pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, personal care and cosmetics, and industrial. 

The personal care and cosmetics segment dominates the global market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 6.70% during the forecast period. Glycerol is utilized as a humectant to lubricate and enhance smoothness. It can be found in soaps, water-based personal lubricants, shaving cream, hair care products, and skincare items. It is a part of glycerin soap with essential oils added for aroma; persons with sensitive, easily irritated skin use it because of its hydrating characteristics, preventing dry skin. One of the main factors driving this segment's growth is a rise in demand for pharmaceutical and personal care products brought on by better lifestyles and rising health consciousness among people in developing regions in the Asia-Pacific and Latin America.

Market Size By Source

Market Size By Source
  • Biodiesel
  • Fatty Alcohol
  • Fatty Acids
  • Soaps
  • Recent Developments

    Top Key Players

    Glycerol Market Share of Key Players

    Glycerol Market Share of Key Players
    BASF SE Procter & Gamble Cargill Dow Wilmar International Fine Chemicals & Scientific Co. Aemetis Inc. Godrej Industries Limited Emery Oleochemicals Kao Corporation Others

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    How big is the Glycerol Market?
    The global glycerol market revenue was valued at USD 3.12 billion in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 5.41 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 6.30% over the forecast period (2023–2031).
    Europe region has the highest growth rate in the Glycerol Market.
    The key players in the global market include BASF SE Procter & Gamble Cargill Dow Wilmar International Fine Chemicals & Scientific Co. Aemetis Inc. Godrej Industries Limited Emery Oleochemicals Kao Corporation.
    Factors like increasing demand from various consumer application sectors and oleochemicals are the key drivers for the growth of the market.
    The global market is segmented by source, type and end-user.


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