Linear alpha olefin are alkenes that have a terminal double bond between the first and second carbon atom. The double bond between the first and the second carbon atom makes these olefins useful in a large number of applications. Linear alpha olefins are used to manufacture products such as polymers (LLDPE and HPDE), synthetic lubricants, synthetic acids, oilfield chemicals, detergent intermediates, and additives. Traditionally, linear alpha olefins have been manufactured by oligomerization of ethylene and Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. Of late, companies such as Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC, Sasol Limited, and The Dow Chemical Company have developed new processes for manufacturing linear alpha olefin.
Key factors driving the linear alpha olefin market include increasing demand for poly alpha olefins in the automotive industry and rising demand for polyethylene in the packaging industry. Demand for linear alpha olefin is expected to increase due to the growth in the demand for LLDPE in packaging and construction industries. This is prompting companies to increase the production of linear alpha olefin. Additionally, easy availability of raw materials is anticipated to boost the demand for linear alpha olefin in the near future.
The global linear alpha olefin market is witnessing technological advancements. Companies are constantly striving to develop new and better linear alpha olefin. Development of new manufacturing process of linear alpha olefin and applications is estimated to propel the linear alpha olefin market. However, implementation of stringent environmental regulations and volatility in prices of raw materials are projected to adversely affect market growth.
Based on type, the linear alpha olefin market can be classified into 1-Butene, 1-Hexene, 1-Octene, 1-Decene, 1-Dodecene, 1-Tetradecene, 1-Hexadecene, and others. 1-Hexene is the most commonly used type of linear alpha olefin. It is used as co-monomer due to its excellent chemical properties.
Linear alpha olefin is employed in a wide range of applications due to their chemical properties. Based on application, the market can be segmented into detergent alcohol, synthetic lubricant, low-density polyethylene (LDPE), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), and others. The low-density polyethylene (LDPE) segment accounted for significant share of the linear alpha olefin in 2016 owing to the high demand for these linear alpha olefins in the global plastics industry.
In terms of geography, the linear alpha olefin market can be divided into North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and Middle East & Africa. North America is anticipated to constitute key share of the market during the forecast period. Asia Pacific is estimated to be a rapidly growing region of the linear alpha olefin market, owing to the increase in demand in the automotive industry in the region. Middle East & Africa is also likely to be an attractive region of the linear alpha olefin market during the forecast period due to the rise in demand in the packaging industry in the region.
Prominent players operating in the global linear alpha olefin market include Royal Dutch Shell plc, Sasol Limited, Qatar Chemical Company Ltd (Q-Chem), Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC, and The Dow Chemical Company.