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New Polymerization Techniques and Growing Demand from Multiple End-use Industries to Aid Highly Reactive Polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) Market Growth

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.

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.

highly reactive polyisobutylene market infographic

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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.

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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Similarly, in February 2019, Saudi Aramco entered an agreement with the South Korean petrochemical firm, Daelim, to construct a new polyisobutylene plant that is expected to be completed by the end of 2024. With this move, Daelim is projected to strengthen its presence in the Middle East region and gain access to competitive feedstock and energy. The move is also anticipated to enable Daelim to serve its customers across the markets in Asia and Europe in an efficient manner.

Market Likely to Experience Sluggish Growth amid COVID-19 Pandemic

The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic has derailed the world economy in unimaginable ways and stalled the growth of several industrial sectors such as automotive. The impact of the ongoing pandemic can be felt across the highly reactive polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) market, wherein the demand is estimated to decline, particularly in the first three quarters of 2020. The dwindling sales of automotive vehicles, along with descending demand for highly reactive polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) from other end-use industries are likely to affect the growth of the global highly reactive polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) market.

Moreover, restrictions on trade and transportation due to stringent lockdown guidelines enforced by several nations is likely to create several holes across the supply chain due to which, the delivery of highly reactive polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) across various regions of the world is likely to witness less activity.

highly reactive polyisobutylene market segmentation

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Analysts’ Viewpoint

The global highly reactive polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) market is expected to grow at a moderate CAGR of 5% during the forecast period despite the onset of the COVID-19 event. The market growth is primarily reliant on consistent demand for highly reactive polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) to produce lubricants and widening applications of the product in various end-use industries. Apart from increasing their production capacities, market players should also focus on research and development to enhance the quality of their products.  

Highly Reactive Polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) Market: Overview

  • In terms of value, the global highly reactive polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) market is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 5% from 2020 to 2030 and reach ~US$ 550 Mn by 2030. The prominence of highly reactive polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) is estimated to increase significantly in the next decade.
  • HR-PIB is a polyisobutylene that has more than 80% of double bonds i.e. the vinylidene content located in the terminal position in the molecule. This molecular vicinity allows HR-PIB to react speedily when producing derivatives, particularly dispersants and detergents.
  • Processing with HR-PIB results in more efficient and less polluting output as compared to the conventional PIB; for instance, HR-PIB, when used as an intermediate, produces less char during manufacture. Its derivative products are used to enhance the final lubricant and fuel performance.
  • HR-PIB is considered a suitable choice for various industrial applications in diverse sectors including aviation, personal care, marine, and healthcare

Highly Reactive Polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) Market: Key Drivers and Restraints

  • Owing to enhanced capability to bind with the filler and higher oil absorption capacity of HR-PIB, HR-PIB-based adhesive systems offer high efficient, even when used on lightly soiled surfaces
  • HR-PIB costs higher than the conventional PIB; however, the demand for the former is projected to increase at a more rapid pace than the latter, due to superior characteristics of HR-PIB. HR-PIB also has an increased polydispersity index as compared to the conventional PIB.
  • Polyisobutylene is used to hold together ingredients of a compressed cake, as it dries to form a thin coat on the skin, the hair, or the nails. In the personal care industry, HR-PIB witnesses high demand for use in the formulation of lipsticks, eye cosmetics, and facial cosmetics in the near future.

Highly Reactive Polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) Market: Key Segments

  • HR-PIB serves as a crucial intermediate for use in the manufacture of high-performance fuel and lubricant additives for engine oils, transmission oils, hydraulic fluids, greases, emulsifiers, adhesives, etc.
  • In HR-PIB, the double bond is at or near the end of the polymer chain, in a branched position, making the product more reactive. If the double bond is located at internal positions in the backbone of the polymer, PIB is less reactive, creating low-reactive PIB.
  • HR-PIB is also used as an additive for sludge prevention in lubricants. It offers a cleaner decomposition and no residue in engines, which results in a more fuel efficient engine design. When added to fuel, properties of HR-PIB help reduce emissions of hydrocarbons and particles.
  • HR-PIB are likely to witness rising demand in sludge prevention applications in the next few years. For instance, HR-PIB-based lubricants and fuel additives come with an innovative technology to improve products or processes, which helps prevent fuel from leaving behind gunk or trace deposits in the engine; provides better fuel efficiency; better mileage; and less maintenance of the engine. 
  • Due to its impermeability, HR-PIB is also used in the production of inner liners of tires. The tire industry is projected to witness substantial demand for HR-PIB for use in tubeless tires by 2030. On an average, HR-PIB constitutes about 15% of the total rubber content in a tire, which may vary depending on the vehicle.

Asia Pacific to be a Highly Lucrative Region of Highly Reactive Polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) Market

  • In terms of value and volume, Asia Pacific constituted ~30% share of the global Highly Reactive Polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) Market in 2019 and the trend is projected to continue during the forecast period
  • ASEAN is projected to be a highly lucrative region of the Asia Pacific HR-PIB market during the forecast period. ASEAN is likely to provide significant opportunity to the Highly Reactive Polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) Market in packaging and industrial end-use segments. A few recent significant events in the packaging sector in ASEAN are as follows: in October 2018, Lee & Man Paper Manufacturing Ltd. invested in a new packaging paper mill in Malaysia with 700,000 tons of capacity. In March 2018, Oji Holdings Corporation established a new plant in Vietnam and increased the production capacity of two of its existing box plants in Malaysia to meet the rising demand for corrugated containers. In June 2017, Scientex planned to double the annual production capacity of its consumer packaging plant in Ipoh, Malaysia to 24,000 metric tons.

Highly Reactive Polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) Market: Competition Landscape

  • The global HR-PIB market was moderately consolidated in 2019 and the trend is projected to continue throughout the forecast period. Major players operating in the global Highly Reactive Polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) Market include: Major manufacturers of HR-PIB include: TPC Group, BASF SE, PETRONAS, KEMAT Polybutenes, and Daelim.
  • Southeast Asia is likely to be an emerging market for HR-PIB during the forecast period. The region witnessed inflow of significant investments in January 2018, when BASF PETRONAS Chemicals opened a new production plant for highly reactive polyisobutene (HR-PIB) at Gebeng, Kuantan, Malaysia with the annual production capacity of 50,000 metric tons.

Highly Reactive Polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) Market – Scope of the Report

A new study on the global highly reactive polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) market was published by Transparency Market Research (TMR). It presents a wealth of information on key market dynamics, including drivers, trends, and challenges, as well as structure of the global highly reactive polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) market. TMR’s study offers valuable information on the global highly reactive polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) market in order to illustrate how growth would discern during the forecast period i.e. 2020–2030.

Key indicators of market growth, which include value chain analysis as well as supply chain analysis and compounded annual growth rate (CAGR), are elucidated in TMR’s study in a comprehensive manner. This data can help readers interpret quantitative growth prospects for the global highly reactive polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) market during the forecast period.

An extensive analysis of leading market players’ business strategies is also featured in TMR’s study on the global highly reactive polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) market. This can help readers understand principal factors responsible for growth of the global highly reactive polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) market. In this study, readers can also find specific data on avenues for qualitative and quantitative growth of the global highly reactive polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) market, which would guide market players in making apt decisions in the near future.

Key Questions Answered in TMR’s Study on Highly Reactive Polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) Market

  • What would be the Y-o-Y growth rate of the global highly reactive polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) market between 2020 and 2030?
  • What is the influence of changing trends in key end-use industries on the global highly reactive polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) market?
  • Would Asia Pacific continue to be the most profitable regional market for providers of highly reactive polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) in the near future?
  • Which factors would impede the growth of the global highly reactive polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) market during the forecast period?
  • Which are leading companies in the global highly reactive polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) market?

Highly Reactive Polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) Market: Research Methodology

A unique research methodology is utilized by TMR to conduct comprehensive research on the global highly reactive polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) market and arrive at conclusions on future growth prospects for the market. This research methodology is a combination of primary and secondary research, which helps analysts warrant the accuracy and reliability of the conclusions drawn.

Secondary resources referred to by analysts during production of the report on the global highly reactive polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) market include statistics from company annual reports, SEC filings, company websites, World Bank database, investor presentations, regulatory databases, government publications, and market white papers. Analysts have also interviewed senior managers, product portfolio managers, CEOs, VPs, and market intelligence managers, who contributed to the production of TMR’s study on the global highly reactive polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) market as a primary resource.

These primary and secondary resources provided exclusive information during interviews, which served as a validation from leading players operating in the global highly reactive polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) market. Access to an extensive internal repository and external proprietary databases allows this report to address specific details and questions about the global highly reactive polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) market with accuracy. The study also uses a top-down approach to assess numbers for each segment and a bottom-up approach to counter-validate them. This has helped in making TMR’s estimates on future prospects for the global highly reactive polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) market more reliable and accurate.

Highly Reactive Polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) Market – Segmentation

TMR’s study on the global highly reactive polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) market segments the market based on molecular weight, application, end use, and region. Changing market trends and other crucial market dynamics associated with these segments of the global highly reactive polyisobutylene (HR-PIB) market are discussed in detail.

Molecular Weight

  • Up to 1,000 g/mol
  • 1,001 –1,500 g/mol
  • Above 1,500  g/mol

End Use

  • Automotive
  • Industrial
  • Packaging
  • Others (including Electrical, Mining)


  • Fuel & Lubricant Additives
    • Engine Oil
    • Gear Oil
    • Transmission Oil
    • Others
  • Hydraulic Fluids
  • Greases & Emulsifiers
  • Adhesives & Sealants
  • Wrapping Films
  • Others (including Cosmetics)


  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia Pacific
  • Latin America
  • Middle East & Africa

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Highly Reactive Polyisobutylene Market

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