Polyisobutylene (PIB) is a completely saturated aliphatic polymer that has gained considerable popularity across the commercial sector, owing to high oxidative stability and optimum gas barrier properties. Over the past few decades, the different production techniques and various catalysts used to produce highly reactive polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) have emerged as an important subject for research and development activities. The adoption of highly reactive polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) is on the rise, owing to higher reactivity in various downstream functionalization reactions. At present, research and development activities are also primarily investigating new polymerization techniques and the potential benefits in comparison with the traditional techniques.
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The global highly reactive polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) market is largely consolidated with four to five major tier-1 companies accounting for nearly 75% of the total production of highly reactive polyisobutylene (HR-PIB). In the current scenario, highly reactive polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) has an array of end uses in various industries, including packaging, automotive, and industrial. Although the applications of highly reactive polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) continue to expand, the production of lubricant and fuel additives is projected to remain the primary area of application during the forecast period. Several market players are likely to increase their production capacities, forge new partnerships, and expand their product range to gain a competitive edge.
At the back of these factors, along with widening the scope of applications due to continual research & development, the global highly reactive polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) market is set to attain a market value of ~US$ 550 Mn by the end of 2030.
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Automobile Sector to Provide Significant Opportunities; Industrial Applications on Rise
Both conventional polyisobutylene (C-PIB) and highly reactive polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) are increasingly being used in lube oil as a dispersant in the form of polyisobutylene succinamide and polyisobutylene succinate. The demand for dispersants and detergents in the automobile sector has witnessed consistent growth over the past few decades and the trend is set to continue for several years to come. At present, a substantial volume of highly reactive polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) is used in lubrication end uses such as metalworking fluids, industrial lubes, engine oils, etc. Highly reactive polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) is also extensively used as a fuel additive. In addition, another factor that is aiding in the growth of the global highly reactive polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) market is the advent of advanced manufacturing techniques due to which, low volume of char is produced. Moreover, the derivative products are utilized to enhance the performance of fuel and final lubricant.
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Market Players Focus on Increasing Production Capacity to Bridge Demand-Supply Gap
Tier-1 players operating in the current highly reactive polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) market landscape are increasingly focusing on expanding their manufacturing and production capacities to bridge the widening gap between demand and supply. For instance, in January 2018, BASF PETRONAS Chemicals announced that the company has completed the construction of a new plant for the production of highly reactive polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) in Malaysia. The company further revealed that the new plant was constructed to fulfill the demand for highly reactive polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) in South East Asia and is primarily supported by strong raw material backward integration.
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