Pentaerythritol is an organic compound comprised of multiple (as many as four) hydroxyl groups and is present in white colored crystalline powder form with the formula C5H12O4.It contains sugar alcohols, which is why it is termed as polyhydric alcohol and acts as a key building block in the production of various components. Pentaerythritol is manufactured by reacting excess formaldehyde with acetaldehyde in an alkaline medium via the aldol condensation process, after which, the process is followed by a crossed Cannizzaro reaction. This process results in the production of white crystalline powder in huge quantities at an industrial scale. According to the statistics, nearly 225 million pounds of formaldehyde is used in the making of pentaerythritol, which is 3% of the total formaldehyde consumption. Acetaldehyde is also an important chemical intermediate, and almost 23% of total production is diverted into the manufacturing of pentaerythritol, in 2016, according to the Chemical Economics Handbook. Pentaerythritol has a vast scope of applications such as in alkyd varnishes and paints, radiation cure coatings, alkyd inks, plasticizers, lubricants, and alkyd adhesives and sealants, among others.
In 2018, the global pentaerythritol market was USD 1,326.1 Million and is expected to grow at the CAGR of 5.8% during the forecast period.
Surging Demand for Pentaerythritol From the Construction Industry
The swift rise in industrialization, ongoing construction activities, and upcoming infrastructural development programs lure the demand for pentaerythritol. The thriving automotive industry, with an increase in production and sales, accelerates market growth. Growing preferences of industrialists toward pentaerythritol over electrical transformer dielectric fluid leaves a great impact on market growth. Characteristics such as low volatility, high melting point, high flash point, heat resistance, solubility, fire retardancy, weatherresistance, and alkali retardancy are some of the properties possessed by pentaerythritol that makes it ideal for usage in the construction industry. Pentaerythritol is also used in the making of printing inks and processing paper. Apart from this, paints and varnishes, floor coverings, and adhesives and sealants have pentaerythritol-based resin esters in their composition. Thus, the demand for pentaerythritol is expected to rise in the coming years.
Automotive Industry Drives the Pentaerythritol Market
The thriving automotive industry, with an increase in production and sales, accelerates market growth. Fundamental necessities of the automotive industry, including surface coatings and high-grade lubricants, are sufficed with the material made up of pentaerythritol. Besides, pentaerythritol is even used in the production of polyurethane foams that are of utmost importance in automobile interiors. Better durability, improved appearance with luster, and super adhesion ability aredemandedby the automotive industry, and, therefore, it is anticipated that the requirement for pentaerythritol will grow in the near future. Plasticizers have been used and are employed in flexible PVC applications, automotive, wire,and cable sectors, and are used in the construction industry as well. The superior performance of polymers with improved features such as chemical tolerance, corrosion resistance, and flame resistance stimulates the market for plasticizers that directly uplifts the requirement of pentaerythritol.
The product characteristic of the pentaerythritol is differentiated by its production technology. Both pentaerythritol nitration grade and pentaerythritol technical grade are produced by the same method, but only the difference lies in the two grades of uniformity of crystals, purity, and crystal size. Other than this, there is no major difference in them.
The nitration grade type segment accounted for USD 64 million and is projected grow at a CAGR of 5.0% during the forecast period 2018–2029.
Pentaerythritol, having purity more than 98% with better crystal formation ability, is of high importance in the explosives industry. Fractional crystallization technology is utilized for the production of nitration grade pentaerythritol. Therefore, this grade has been defined as the nitration grade in commercial parlance. Less than 2% of the process results in the production of nitration grade pentaerythritol. Nevertheless, nitration grade pentaerythritol can be used in the manufacturing of alkyd resin and can serve an identical role as that of technical grade in other product manufacturing as well. Despite their similar function, having high purity content legitimizes them to be essentially utilized in explosive manufacturing.
Applications of Pentaerythritol
Pentaerythritol is vitally used in the production of alkyd paints, alkyd inks, alkyd resins and varnishes, radiation cure monomers, and high-quality surface coating, particularly in the automotive industry, and in adhesives and sealants specifically used in the construction sector. It is also used in resin esters, synthetic lubricants, explosives making, pigment treatments, antioxidants, therapeutics, and in the chemical industry as an intermediate, and various other applications.
The paints and coatings segment contributed the highest share to the market and dominated the application segment in 2017, with a total value of USD 544 million. Growing at a CAGR of 6.1%, the segment is expected to reach USD 934 million by 2029. Paint chemists in the 1930s wondered if they could find a binder system for paint that will offer both productivity and inherently enhanced appearance of a natural oil resin. This, later on, resulted in the development of the first alkyd paint system, and then it was commercialized as an automotive primer. Alkyd paints are popularly known as oil-based paints, although they do not have any oil in the basic composition. Chemical solvents such as alcohol and spirits are used as thinners, whereas synthetic resins play the role of binders. As these paints are weatherproof, they are preferredby almost all industries such as the automotive and construction industries.
On the account of the construction industry, alkyd paints are the primary choice for high traffic areas in homes such as hallways and playrooms for children. Having lustrous finish, stains are not absorbed easily, and discoloration does not set in, which makes it an excellent choice for kitchens, bathrooms, and also furniture and cabinets. These are usually used in the automotive industry for the finishing of cars, buses, trucks, and various other forms of transport or wherever superior high gloss, durable, and rapid drying is required.
North America’s Pentaerythritol Market
North America was valued at USD 246 million in 2017 and is forecast grow ata CAGR of 5.9%. According to The Economic Contributions of Formaldehyde in Building and Construction report published by the American Council Chemistry, approximately 55 million pounds of pentaerythritol is consumed by the U.S. for the production of alkyd coating resin used in architectural coatings, OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturing), product finish and special-purpose coatings. Out of this, less than two-thirdsof the part is in building and construction. As the product saturation level is high, the market is experiencing a relatively slow growth rate.
Pentaerythritol Market: Key Players
Prominent players in the global pentaerythritol market includeBaoding Guoxiu Chemical Industry (China), Ercros S.A (Spain), Hexion Inc. (U.S.), Hubei Yihua Chemical Industry Co., Ltd (China), Kanoria Chemicals and Industries Ltd (India), Methanol Chemicals Company (Saudi Arabia), MKS Marmara EntegreKimya (Turkey), Perstorp Holding AB (Sweden), Chifeng Ruiyang Chemical Co., Ltd (China), and U-Jin Chemical Co., Ltd (South Korea).
The market for pentaerythritol is moderately consolidated, withthe top four companies contributing to more than half of the global share. Companies have been investing significantly in research and development programs to explore novel applications of pentaerythritol. Emerging innovative applications of pentaerythritol such as therapeutics and marine coatings are projected to offer lucrative growth and business expansion opportunities. Few of the market players, including Perstorp, Koei Chemical Co. Ltd., Yunnan Yuntianhua Co.Ltd., are emphasizing on establishing manufacturing facilities and regional offices in order to propel their market share and regional penetration.
For instance, in March 2019, Perstorp, a Sweden-based chemical innovator, announced that it is increasing the annual production capacity of pentaerythritol at its Bruchhausen/Arnsberg plant in Germany by 12.5%. This increased capacity is projected to strengthen the company’s security of supply to meet the growing demand for Voxtar pentaerythritol from renewable sources.
Asian Paints has extended its manufacturing plant at Cuddalore District, Tamil Nadu with an investment of USD 0.14 million. The plant has increased its capacity for pentaerythritol from 450 mtpm to 560 mtpm, and the expansion program is aimed at fulfilling the increasing demand for the chemical for the production of various end-products such as paints, adhesives, and coatings, among others.
Pentaerythritol Market: Segmentation
- By Type
- Technical Grade
- Nitration Grade
- By Application
- Paint and Coating Additive
- Adhesive and Sealant
- Varnishes and Lubricants
- By Region
- North America
- Rest of Europe
- South Korea
- Rest of Asia-Pacific
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
- Rest of LAMEA