Increase in Demand for Polyurethane Foam in Packaging Industry

Polymer foams are being increasingly used in civil and industrial applications. For instance, polyurethane (PU) soft foam is extensively used to make furniture, car cushions, sports equipment, etc. On the other hand, there is a growing demand for PU hard foam for the production of refrigerators and freezers in the polyalkylene glycol market. As such, the polyurethane foam application segment of the polyalkylene glycol market is estimated to reach an output of ~4,100 kilo tons by the end of 2023.

Companies in the polyalkylene glycol market are increasing their production capacities to manufacture polypropylene (PP) foam to cater to end user needs in daily necessities, military, and aerospace industry. The rapidly growing packaging industry is resulting in increased production of polymer foams. Manufacturers in the polyalkylene glycol market are tapping into opportunities to increase the application of PP foam to produce insulation and shockproof materials. They are investing in research activities to adopt new foaming methods.

polyalkylene glycol market infographic

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High-performance Lubricants Boost Credibility Credentials of Manufacturers in Automotive Landscape

End users in the polyalkylene glycol market are becoming increasingly aware of the advantages of polyalkylene glycol-based lubricants. Companies in the polyalkylene glycol market are increasing efficacy of the production of high-performance lubricants used in automobile manufacturing. They are offering tailored services to end users and OEMs to generate revenue opportunities catering to large-scale projects.

Polyalkylene glycol-based lubricants are gaining increased popularity as environmental-friendly and sustainable fluids, as compared to other synthetic lubricants. OEMs are increasingly benefitting from polyalkylene glycol lubricants, since they reduce friction, abrasion, and are water soluble. As such, among applications, the lubricants segment is expected to dominate the polyalkylene glycol market, with an estimated output of ~4,000 kilo tons by 2027. Hence, manufacturers are launching new production plants in high growth regions of Asia Pacific. For instance, in June 2019, Idemitsu Kosan Co. Ltd. - a leading manufacturer of petroleum and petrochemical products, announced the launch of their new lubricant manufacturing plant in China to cater to the growing demand for high-performance lubricants.

Manufacturers Utilize Thiol-ene Reactions to Improve Degradability of Hydrogels Used in Tissue Regeneration

Apart from polyurethane foams and lubricants, manufacturers in the polyalkylene glycol market are tapping into opportunities in the healthcare sector. Likewise, the domain of tissue engineering is subject to high growth potential in the coming years. Hence, manufacturers in the market for polyalkylene glycol are increasing production capabilities to manufacture improved formulations of hydrogels used in tissue engineering scaffolds. However, certain limitations of polyethylene glycol dimethacrylate- (PEGDMA)-based hydrogels, act as a restraint for manufacturers.

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The polyalkylene glycol market is largely consolidated with six major players accounting for ~50% of the market stake. This poses as a challenge for emerging players to gain industry-standard expertise for the production of efficacious hydrogels used in the domain of tissue regeneration.

Though PEGDMA is popular for its versatility in properties, its lack of degradability over a relevant timeframe is a concern for manufacturers. Hence, companies in the polyalkylene glycol market are adapting their production processes for the utilization of thiol-ene reactions to improve degradability of PEG-based hydrogels.

Innovations in Controlled-release Drugs and PU Foams to Offer Growth Opportunities

Companies in the polyalkylene glycol market are unlocking opportunities in pharmaceuticals, since the domain is projected for exponential growth during the forecast period. They are increasing efficacy in controlled-release products with the help of biodegradable and bioresorbable polymers such as polyethylene glycol (PEG). As such, in terms of type, the polyethylene glycol segment of the polyalkylene glycol market is projected to reach a value of ~US$ 8.5 Bn by the end of 2027. Hence, manufacturers are using the synergetic effect of ultrasound and PEG to improve the dispersion of methylene blue drug in polylactide/PEG blends.

Manufacturers in the polyalkylene glycol market are increasingly adopting sustainable methods to produce PU foams. This can be attributed to the production of PU foams is heavily dependent on petroleum feedstock, which leads to rise in environmental stress. Hence, manufacturers are turning toward bio-renewable plants oils, such as palm oil, sunflower, and rapeseed oils, to produce PU foams useful in the construction sector, and for the production of footwear and insulation materials.

polyalkylene glycol market segmentation

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Analysts’ Viewpoint

Polypropylene glycol is expected to witness a high demand in the polyalkylene glycol market. Hence, manufacturers are increasing the applicability of polypropylene glycol in the production of oral, topical, and intravenous medicines. They are entering new end markets, such as the food industry, by increasing the availability of humectants, preservatives, and solvents.

However, in the automotive industry, lowering fuel consumption whilst maintaining engine life is a challenge for lubricant manufacturers. Hence, manufacturers should increase research activities to include PAG chemistry with additives and mineral base oils. This will help manufacturers to obtain a deep understanding of friction involving engines and develop improved engine oils that offer better fuel performance to consumers.

Polyalkylene Glycol Market: Overview

  • Polyalkylene glycol (PAG) is a polymer obtained through the addition of one or more repeating epoxide units. It is also known as polyether polyols, polyglycols, polyalkylene oxides, and polyethers. Polyalkylene glycol includes E-series and P-series adducts and block copolymers.
  • The automotive industry is a key end user of polyalkylene glycol-based lubricants. Polyalkylene glycol lubricants are used in engine oils, gear oils, bearing oils, compressor oils, grease, heat transfer fluids, transmission fluids, and metalworking fluids. Polyalkylene glycol-based lubricants provide superior performance and maximum protection in high-performance and racing applications. They can withstand the elevated rpm, high temperatures, and shock loading, which are common in racing applications. Increase in demand from the automotive sector is augmenting the polyalkylene glycol market.

 Key Growth Drivers of Polyalkylene Glycol Market

  • Synthetic oil lubricants industry is dominated by three product groups: polyalphaolefin (PAO), esters, and polyalkylene glycol. Demand for synthetic passenger car motor oils (PCMO) is high in Europe, due to the increase in OEM technical demand and rise in consumer demand for extended oil drain intervals (ODIs).
  • Several OEMs are collaborating with lubricant manufacturers to launch tailor-made products for new designs of vehicles. Polyalkylene glycol oils offer quality lubricity, high natural viscosity index, and good temperature stability. Thus, the demand for synthetic lubricants is rising. This, in turn, is boosting the polyalkylene glycol market. 

 Challenges for Polyalkylene Glycol Market

  • High price of polyalkylene glycol-based lubricants is the primary restraining factor for the market. Prices of synthetic lubricants vary in relation to the prices of conventional mineral oil-based lubricants. Polyalkylene glycol-based lubricants are mainly used in racing motorbikes and luxury cars, as they protect components and parts from wear and tear. They are used in superbikes and performance bikes manufactured by Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki, Ducati, etc. Synthetic lubricants are also used in luxury vehicles, such as Corvette, BMW, VW, and Porsche. 

 Lucrative Opportunities for Polyalkylene Glycol Market

  • Rapid industrialization in the lubricant industry has led to the growth of the manufacturing sector and increase in purchasing power of consumers. This has enabled the lubricant industry to manufacture high performing lubricant oils with respect to requirements of various end-use industries.
  • Demand for food grade industrial lubricants in the food processing industry is estimated to rise significantly during the forecast period. This is primarily due to a shift in demand for automatic lubrication systems and automated factories. Polyalkylene glycol is commonly used as quenchants, metalworking fluids, food-grade lubricants, and lubricants in hydraulic and compressor equipment. These factors are anticipated to create lucrative opportunities for the polyalkylene glycol market. 

 Asia Pacific to Dominate Polyalkylene Glycol Market

  • The lubricants industry in Asia Pacific has been expanding at a rapid pace. China witnesses high demand for lubricants, due the presence of major manufacturers of lubricants in the country. Polyalkylene glycol offer better mechanical properties at extremes of high and low temperatures, due to high purity compared to mineral oil.
  • The value generated by the polyurethanes industry is an important contributor to the U.S. economy. The polyurethanes industry operated in nearly 1,000 locations throughout the U.S. in 2017. Growth in demand for polyurethane products, such as foams in North America is propelling the polyalkylene glycol market. 

Various Uses of Polypropylene Glycol

  • In terms of type, the polypropylene glycol segment held a major share of the global polyalkylene glycol market in 2018 and the trend is likely to continue during the forecast period. Polypropylene glycol is produced through the addition of propylene oxide to 1,2-propylene glycol. Polypropylene glycol is used as additive in metalworking fluids, as plasticizers and anti-foaming agents, as additives in rubber and paints industries, and as starting materials for the synthesis of urethane foams, resins, and surfactants.

Major Applications of Polyalkylene Glycol

  • In terms of application, polyurethane foam was the leading segment of the global polyalkylene glycol market in 2018. Polyalkylene glycol is primarily used in PU rigid foam, soft foam, and molding foam products. Polyalkylene glycol is largely used in polyurethane foam to provide cushioning.
  • Lubricants is one of the major applications of polyalkylene glycol. Increase in the adoption of synthetic lubricants, including polyalkylene glycol-based lubricants, can be attributed to their superior performance in versatile conditions. Polyalkylene glycol lubricants offer long-lasting performance and are preferred for use in high-performance applications, including race car engines, aircraft, marine, and automotive applications. 

Leading Players Engage in Joint Ventures and R&D Activities

  • The global polyalkylene glycol market was consolidated in 2018 with top five manufacturers - The Dow Chemical Company, Covestro AG, LyondellBasell Industries Holdings B.V., BASF SE, Royal Dutch Shell plc - accounting for more than 52% market share
  • The Dow Chemical Company products are manufactured at 164 sites in 35 countries and it produces more than 7,000 products across the globe. The company manufactures polyether polyols, polyethylene glycol, and polypropylene glycol for various end-use industries.
  • Bayer Material Science, a subsidiary of Covestro AG, is a manufacturer of high performance isocyanates and polyether polyols used to produce polyurethane and polyurea systems. The company is a prominent player in the polyalkylene glycol market, with an extensive product portfolio for use in a variety of applications, including PU foam, lubricants, personal care, and pharmaceutical, among others.
  • Companies are focusing on various growth strategies, such as product launches, acquisitions, partnership & collaboration, etc. These activities have enabled the companies to expand into other geographies and increase their customer base.

Polyalkylene Glycol Market – Scope of the Report

TMR’s recent publication on the global polyalkylene glycol market provides audiences with an overall market outlook, with the help of a comprehensive assessment of the global market scenario. TMR’s study on the polyalkylene glycol market analyzes the industry with respect to historical and current market scenario, which offers a forecast for the period of 2019 to 2027.

Report readers are able to make important decisions pertaining to their business with a wealth of information and exclusive polyalkylene glycol market insights enclosed in the study. The polyalkylene glycol market report also provides an in-depth understanding of key industry trends and developments made by companies. This TMR report is divided into different sections that allow readers to gain an individual understanding of the polyalkylene glycol market.

Key Queries Addressed in Report on Polyalkylene Glycol Market

  • How much revenue is the polyalkylene glycol market expected to generate by the end of the forecast period?
  • Which type of polyalkylene glycol is likely to generate the highest revenue by 2027?
  • What are the key growth indicators and market dynamics that are expected to drive the polyalkylene glycol market over the next five years?
  • Which regions are estimated to provide lucrative opportunities for the polyalkylene glycol market?
  • What are the essential strategies incorporated by key polyalkylene glycol market players in an attempt to expand their geographical presence?

The first section in the TMR report on the polyalkylene glycol market begins with a premise that includes report scope, market segmentation, and research highlights. This is followed by the executive summary that emphasizes on the polyalkylene glycol market aspects covered in the study. This section provides a brief understanding of market elements and enables readers to understand the aspects covered in the study. The report also includes market dynamics that offer an understanding of market drivers, restraints, and opportunities.

The next section includes an extensive segmentation analysis of the polyalkylene glycol market. This evaluation includes the division of the polyalkylene glycol market segments based on type, application, and region. Furthermore, an analysis of these key segments, year-on-year growth projections, and basis point share analysis have been included in the report. These help readers identify promising market growth areas.

The TMR study on the polyalkylene glycol market offers an assessment of the geographical landscape of the market. Regional study helps market competitors make important decisions pertaining to their business. Individualized, country-wise, and segment-wise analysis pertaining to different regions helps readers decipher the potential of the market in various geographies. Supported by year-on-year growth projections and global value and volume share, this section is a vital part of the report.

The study on the polyalkylene glycol market offers a holistic competitive value judgment with details of leading and emerging market players. The dashboard view of competitors in the polyalkylene glycol market report allows readers to understand their business and strategies, along with their performance.

Research Methodology

The TMR report on the polyalkylene glycol market is based on a detailed estimation of the market, with inclusion of comprehensive primary and secondary research inputs. Detailed investigation of the polyalkylene glycol market in terms of competitive scenario is supported by an individual-level examination of different avenues related to the industry. Furthermore, for secondary research, analysts scrutinized numerous annual report publications, white papers, industry association publications, and company websites to obtain the necessary understanding of the polyalkylene glycol market. This helps TMR’s analysts to derive crucial predictions and forecast analysis of the polyalkylene glycol market. Readers can access the polyalkylene glycol market study to gain a forecast market analysis for the period of 2019 to 2027.

Polyalkylene Glycol Market: Segmentation

Type

Polyethylene Glycol

Polypropylene Glycol

Others (higher adducts, copolymers, etc.)

Application

Polyurethane Foam

Functional Fluids

Lubricants

  • Automotive Oils
  • Hydraulic Fluids
  • Metalworking Fluids
  • Others (industrial oils, hydraulic oils, process oils, etc.)

Personal Care Products

Pharmaceuticals

Surface Active Agents

Others (chemical intermediates, CASE, and additives)

Region

North America

Latin  America

Asia Pacific

Europe

Middle East & Africa

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Polyalkylene Glycol Market

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