Perchloroethylene: Introduction

  • Perchloroethylene (PERC), also known as ‘tetrachloroethene’, is a chlorocarbon. PERC is a colorless liquid that is chemically stable; it emits a sweet-smelling fragrance and is non-flammable in nature. Perchloroethylene’s manufacturing process includes chloronylosis of relatively lighter hydrocarbons. It is used as a solvent in various chemicals. PERC is a chemical intermediate primarily used in refrigerants such as hyrdrofluorocarbon and hydrochlorofluorocarbons.
  • It is also used in dry cleaning in both industrial and commercial markets. PERC along with other chlorocarbons are utilized as vapor degreaser in automotive, aerospace, and metalworking industries. It has higher boiling point and long cleaning phase, which helps remove difficult waxes and soils from surfaces. It is also employed as an extractant for oils and fats.
  • Earlier, perchloroethylene was manufactured by reacting chlorine with acetylene. However, presently, acetylene is replaced by various feedstock such as lighter hydrocarbons and ethylene dichloride (EDC). Ethylene dichloride is a highly preferred feedstock due to its easy availability and higher yield. Ethylene dichloride is treated with oxygen and chlorine in the bed reactor, a process known as oxychlorination, which resulting in the formation of PERC. In terms of raw materials, in certain cases, lighter hydrocarbons such as ethane are widely preferred. Sometimes, perchloroethylene is also manufactured using wastes such as chlorinated hydrocarbons.

Key Drivers and Restraints of Global Perchloroethylene Market

  • Perchloroethylene has emerged as an ideal feedstock in fluorocarbon production owing to its efficacy to act as an intermediate. Perchloroethylene is widely used as an intermediate to produce refrigerants, refrigerant blends, and other fluorinated compounds. Consequently, perchloroethylene is extensively utilized in hydrofluorocarbon applications, which accounted for nearly three-fourths of the total global consumption in 2019. Thus, an increase in the demand from the refrigerants sector is projected to drive the demand for perchloroethylene in the next few years.
  • Apart from hydrofluorocarbon, perchloroethylene is largely utilized as a solvent in dry cleaning, metal cleaning, and vapor degreasing applications. Perchloroethylene has become the most commonly used dry cleaning chemical, as it is more stable than any other chlorinated solvent. Furthermore, it is highly preferred for heavy-duty applications that require high temperature to remove contaminants owing to its high boiling point. These factors are estimated to fuel the global perchloroethylene market during the forecast period

Perchloroethylene: Application Segment

  • In terms of application, the global perchloroethylene market can be segmented into dry cleaning agent, solvent, and others
  • The dry cleaning agent segment is expected to account for a significant share of the global perchloroethylene market during the forecast period
  • The solvent segment is likely to expand at a rapid pace during the forecast period owing to the increasing demand from the chemical sector since perchloroethylene is employed as solvent in numerous chemicals

Covid-19 Impact on Perchloroethylene Market

  • The coronavirus outbreak has affected the whole world, resulting in lockdowns that have hampered demand across the globe. The outbreak has forced countries to stop any kind of import export across borders. As per the World Bank, the global economy is poised to contract by 5% in 2020, leaving a permanent scar on the global economy. Analyzing the current scenario, the global economy may take years to recover from the current recession.
  • Economies of developed countries such as Germany, France, the U.K., and the U.S. are poised to contract by 8% to 10% in 2020. These countries are key consumers of perchloroethylene, and are estimated to experience a decline in demand till the midterm forecast. East Asia is the least affected region and a prominent consumer, which in turn is estimated to drive the global market growth in the midterm during the forecast period.

Asia Pacific to Dominate Perchloroethylene Market

  • In terms of region, the global perchloroethylene market can be divided into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa
  • Asia Pacific is expected to hold a significant share of the global market during the forecast period. China is a leading manufacturer of refrigerant; hence, demand for perchloroethylene has been considerably high since the last few years, accounting for nearly half of the total demand globally. East Asia has driven consumption and holds a noteworthy share of the perchloroethylene market driven by China. This scenario is projected to continue during the forecast period too.

Key Manufacturers Operating in Global Perchloroethylene Market

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

  • Occidental Chemical
  • Olin Corporation
  • Westlake Chemical Corporation
  • The DOW Chemical Company
  • Banner Chemicals Group
  • ACE Geosynthetics Enterprise Co, Ltd
  • Aicello Chemical Co, Ltd

Global Perchloroethylene Market: Research Scope

Global Perchloroethylene Market, by Type

  • Ethylene Oxychlorination
  • Acetylene Method
  • Ethylene Direct Chlorination

Global Perchloroethylene Market, by End-use

  • Dry Cleaning Agent
  • Solvent
  • Others

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Perchloroethylene Market