Polyether polyols is a type of polyols which contains ether chain and has two or more hydroxyl group attached to the terminal groups. Polyether polyols are manufactured through catalytic addition reaction of cyclic ethers or epoxides. Cyclic ethers such as ethene oxides, propene oxides and butene oxides are preferred in the manufacturing of polyether polyols. The initiators used in manufacturing process of polyester polyols include amines, glycols, sucrose, water and polyols. Polyether polyols are water soluble polymers with wide range of compositions. With the help of proper initiator and cyclic ether, number of low to high molecular weight polyglycols and resins can be manufactured.
Physical properties of the polyether polyols depends upon the length of the polymer chain. Polyether polyols comprises huge market share in polymeric polyols used in various industries. Based on the cell structure, the market for polyester polyols are classified as flexible polyether polyols, rigid polyether polyols and specialty polyether polyols. Rigid and flexible polyester polyols are among the contributors in the market.
The market for polyether polyols was mainly driven by huge demand from polyurethane industry. Polyether polyols are used in manufacturing of polyurethane foams. Polyurethane flexible foams are used in numerous applications such as bedding, furniture, carpets interlay and car interior and seats among others. Polyurethane rigid foams are used in refrigeration and packaging. In addition, polyether polyols are also used in manufacturing of polyurethane fibers. Polyether polyols finds applications in various end-user industries such as adhesives & sealants, synthetic lubricants, elastomers and surface active agents among others. Specialty polyether polyols are used in manufacturing specialty coatings, castings, adhesives, inks and defoamers among others.
In addition, polyether polyols are also used in functional fluids used for special applications. Increasing demand for bio based polyether polyols manufactured from natural oils is environmentally sustainable due to huge feedstock. Bio based polyether polyols is one of the major opportunities in the global polyether polyols market in next few years to come. However, health hazards associated with polyols are anticipated to hinder the growth of the global polyether polyols market over the forecast period.
In terms of demand, Asia Pacific was the leading region in polyether polyols market in 2013. Asia Pacific is also predicted to be the fastest growing region for polyether polyols owing to huge demand for polyurethane foams from end-user industries. China had the highest demand for polyether polyols in the Asia Pacific region. India, Taiwan and other Asian countries are likely to offer huge opportunities for the polyether polyols market in upcoming years. Asia Pacific was followed by Europe. Increasing demand of polyether polyols from polyurethane foam market which find applications in furniture and bedding industry is driving the market in this region.
Western Europe had the highest demand for polyether polyols in this region. However, central Europe is expected to increase its market share over the forecast period. North America had the third highest demand for polyether polyols. In 2013, The U.S. had the largest demand for polyether polyols in North America. Rest of the World market is projected to demonstrate optimistic growth for the polyether polyols market in near future. The Middle East is likely to exhibit higher demand for polyether polyols in near future.
Some of the key manufacturers in the polyether polyols market are BASF SE, Bayer AG, The Dow Chemical Company, Royal Dutch Shell and Huntsman International LLC among others.
This research report analyzes this market on the basis of its market segments, major geographies, and current market trends. Geographies analyzed under this research report include
- North America
- Asia Pacific
- Rest of the World
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- Factors limiting market growth
- Current market trends
- Market structure
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