Glycol Ether: Introduction

  • Glycol ethers are considered a group of solvents based on alkyl ethers of ethylene glycol or propylene glycol. These solvents typically have higher boiling point, together with the favorable solvent properties of lower-molecular weight ethers and alcohols.

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  • The glycol ether product family is made up of more than 30 different types of solvents that can be categorized into two major groups, E-series and P-series, depending upon the starting material used (ethylene or propylene). E-series comprises ethylene glycol butyl ether, ethylene glycol propyl ether, and ethylene glycol butyl ether acetate as key products. These are used extensively as they have strong compatibility with diverse organic solvents and water. They also have low volatility and strong solvent properties. Thus, they are employed in applications in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, electronics, and personal care.

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  • P-series is majorly used in products that are used in treating metal and non-metal surfaces, laboratory products, and water treatment formulation. Glycol ether helps in the formation of a proper film during coating cure and acts as an active solvent in resins. It helps in optimizing the evaporation rate of the solvent in a coating. It is also helpful in improving the flow out characteristics of the paint, and in eliminating brush marks during painting.

Key Drivers and Restraints of Global Glycol Ether Market

  • Major factors driving the market are increase in usage of glycol ethers in cosmetics and personal care products and high demand in the paints & coatings industry
  • The paints & coatings industry is the largest consumer of glycol ethers. Paints and coatings are extensively used in various industries such as construction, automotive, and packaging.
  • Residential and commercial construction has been increasing significantly across the world. This is also boosting the demand for glycol ether, as it is used in the production of architectural paints and coatings.

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  • According to the World Bank, the construction industry expenditure in 2020 is likely to witness a growth of about 4.2% from that in 2019. This, in turn, is likely to increase the demand for glycol ether during the forecast period.
  • Presence of REACH and EPA regulations regarding the usage of glycol ether; and the emergence of new products, such as cellulosic ethanol, as solvents for cleaning agents are restraining the glycol ether market

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Glycol Ether: End-use Segment

  • In terms of end-use, the global glycol ether market can be segmented into paints & coatings, printing, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics & personal care, electronics, and others
  • The paints & coatings segment dominated the market in 2019. The segment is expected to expand during the forecast period, due to high demand for paints and coatings in various industries such as construction and packaging.

Covid-19 Impact on Glycol Ether Market

  • Several companies and private sector businesses have been operating on a limited capacity or have ceased operations completely due to recent events surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Various manufacturing activities of different materials and products across the globe came to a halt due to the unavailability of raw materials, shortage of labor, and disruption of the supply chain. This has hampered the global glycol ether market.

Asia Pacific to Dominate Glycol Ether Market

  • In terms of region, the global glycol ether market can be divided into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa
  • Asia Pacific dominated the market in 2019. Demand for paints, coatings, and adhesives has been increasing in end-user industries such as automotive, construction, electronics, and packaging in the region.
  • India, China, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Indonesia have numerous construction projects and investments in the pipeline. This is likely to boost the demand for architectural paints, coatings, and adhesives in these countries.

Key Manufacturers Operating in Global Glycol Ether Market

The global glycol ether market was highly fragmented in 2019. Major players have prominent presence in developed and developing countries. Key manufacturers operating in the global glycol ether market include:

  • BASF SE
  • Dow
  • Eastman Chemicals Company
  • Royal Dutch Shell
  • LyondellBasell Industries NV
  • SABIC
  • Exxon Mobil Corporation
  • Sasol
  • Huntsman Corporation
  • Hannong Chemicals Inc
  • Matrix Chemicals
  • Biesterfeld AG

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