Maleic anhydride is an acid anhydride (C2H2(CO)2O) that is produced using vapor-phase oxidation of n-butane. Traditionally, it was produced by the oxidation of benzene; however, the method is considered outdated but is still used in China. Maleic anhydride is a highly toxic compound of the second hazard class and requires special transportation conditions and storage. It is an important chemical intermediate with numerous industrial applications such as the production of unsaturated polyester resins (UPR) and synthesis of active pharmaceutical ingredients.
Maleic Anhydride Market: Product Lifecycle
Maleic anhydride history is traced back to the 1930s, where it was first commercially produced by the vapor-phase oxidation of benzene. The use of benzene as a raw material for the production of maleic anhydride was dominant across the globe until the 1980s. In 1983, Monsanto (agrochemical company), initiated the world’s largest n-butane facility for the manufacturing of maleic anhydride with the capacity of 59 K tons/year. This process was considered energy efficient, as well as cost-effective. About 1.11 metric tons of benzene or 1 ton of butane is required to produce 1 metric ton of maleic anhydride, and benzene is almost 1.5 times costlier than butane, further driving its adoption across the U.S. Today, almost every country is using butane as a feedstock for the manufacturing of maleic anhydride.
The demand for maleic anhydride is increasing in the petrochemical industry to develop different polymers. The incorporation of maleic anhydride is surging in various sectors, including construction and lubricant manufacturing, among others. The maleic anhydride market is considered saturated mostly in North America and Asia-Pacific. However, consistent R&D activities by various manufacturers to find a new application of maleic anhydride has made it to remain in the growth stage.
Use of Maleic Anhydride in Different Synthetic Processes
Rapidly Expanding Chemical Industry to Drive the Market Growth
Maleic anhydride is extensively used in the chemical industry to produce high-demand polymer compounds and fibers and various additives for modification of coatings. As per the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA), in 2017, the chemical industry contributed about USD 5.7 trillion to the global GDP. Also, as per the Statista, in 2002, the revenue of the chemical industry worldwide stood at around USD 1.8 trillion. In 2018, the revenue of the global chemical industry was around USD 4.1 trillion. Thus, the growth in chemical industry is subsequently increasing the consumption of maleic anhydride, further driving the market growth.
Increasing Construction Activities in Emerging Economies Drives the Market Growth
Maleic anhydride is extensively used for the manufacturing of compositions, which is used to form a strong plastic polymer film when applied to various surfaces. This new technology is commonly used in the protective coating of building sites. It is also used as a plasticizer in concrete to provide better viscosity and pot life. Increasing construction for residential and non-residential buildings in the economies such as Brazil, South Africa, and Saudi Arabia provides an impetus to the market growth
Maleic Anhydride Market: Segmentation
By raw material, the maleic anhydride market is bifurcated into benzene and n-butane. Benzene is considered as an outdated raw material for manufacturing maleic anhydride. However, China is still using the benzene for the production of maleic anhydride.
Unsaturated Polyester Resin Segment Holds the Largest Market Share
By application, the maleic anhydride market is segmented into unsaturated polyester resin (UPR), butanediol (BDO), lubricant additive, and copolymers. The unsaturated polyester resin segment holds the largest market share and will continue the same during the forecast period. As per the study commissioned by the Engineering Chemical Technological Center (ECTC), globally, around 55% of produced maleic anhydride is used for the production of unsaturated polyester resins (UPR).
Fig: Market Share (%) of Maleic Anhydride by Application, 2019
Asia-Pacific: Home to the Fastest Growing Chemical and Petrochemical Industries
Asia-Pacific is projected to exhibit the highest growth in terms of value in the maleic anhydride market on account of the growing chemical and petrochemical industries in the emerging economies, such as India and China. In India, the total production of key chemicals and petrochemicals was around 27.8 thousand metric tons in 2018. Maleic anhydride is extensively used in the production of polymers, and its production accounts for around 60% of the total production of petrochemicals. In addition, the demand for the petrochemical is expected to grow with a CAGR of 7.5% across the region, further driving the market growth.
Maleic Anhydride Market: Import/Export Data
Maleic Anhydride Market: Segmentation
By Raw Material
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