Superabsorbent Gels Help Disinfect COVID-19 Secretions and Other Bodily Fluids

Since safe disposal of infected secretions from patients has become vital during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, innovators in the superabsorbent polymers market are increasing the availability of superabsorbent gels. For instance, scientists at the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST), India, revealed that the AcryloSorb gel is a unique superabsorbent gel embedded with disinfecting material that can be used in safe management of infected respiratory secretions. Hence, companies in the superabsorbent polymers market are increasing their production capacities to manufacture disinfecting superabsorbent gels.

The demand for superabsorbent polymers is anticipated to witness steady growth in medical, personal care, and packaging applications amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Safe collection, consolidation, and quarantine of infected secretions is important before they are incinerated. Hence, manufacturers are developing highly efficient superabsorbent gels that are capable of disinfecting contagious COVID-19 secretions and other bodily fluids.

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Proliferation of Hydrogel Agriculture Technology Leads to Better Farm Success

High water uptake potential of superabsorbent polymers (SAPs) is beneficial in various agricultural applications. Hence, companies in the superabsorbent polymers market are increasing their efficacy in acrylic acids and cross-linking agents such as potassium to tap into value-grab opportunities in agricultural applications. The biodegradable and non-toxic nature of polyacrylates is best suited in agricultural applications. Superabsorbent polymers are addressing issues of low water retention, high evaporation rates, and soil moisture leaching in agricultural applications for improved plant growth and high crop yield.

The hydrogel agriculture technology is being highly publicized in the superabsorbent polymers market. This caters to a flourishing CAGR growth of 5% during the forecast period. Superabsorbent polymers help to address unforeseen drought conditions, salination, and overuse of synthetic fertilizers. The hydrogel agriculture technology is being used to improve soil quality, preserve water, and resist drought stress. Increased seed sprouting and favorable crop development are resulting in better farm success.

Droplet Polymerization Technology Fuels Innovations in High-tech Disposable Diapers

Personal hygiene products and agriculture are key applications that are fueling a continuous demand for superabsorbent polymers. Baby diapers, adult incontinence products, and feminine hygiene products are among the top selling items that are catalyzing innovations in superabsorbent polymers. Companies in the superabsorbent polymers market are innovating in high-tech disposable diapers in order to capitalize on incremental opportunities. For instance, BASF SE— a leading German chemicals company, is increasing the applicability of HySorb® and SAVIVA® in incontinence products and baby diapers.

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Companies in the superabsorbent polymers market are gaining proficiency in the droplet polymerization technology for baby diapers. Superior rewet and low leakage attributes of diapers are leading to increased product uptake in the superabsorbent polymers market. Such products innovations are anticipated to lead to revenue growth of the market, which is estimated to cross a value of ~US$ 15 Bn by 2030.

IPT Strikes Right Balance Between Absorption Capabilities and Gel Strength for Diapers

Manufacturers in the superabsorbent polymers market are innovating in the iodine transfer polymerization (ITP) technique to develop novel classes of acrylic acid (AA)-based superabsorbent polymers. AA-based superabsorbent polymers made using the ITP technique are becoming increasingly popular for its remarkable absorption performance, which is instrumental in the diaper industry. Hence, manufacturers in the superabsorbent polymers market are increasing their R&D muscle in polymerization of AA in aqueous solution using specific organoiodine chain transfer agents.

The ITP technology is playing an instrumental role in deploying better absorption capabilities and gel strength in superabsorbent polymers that are benefitting diaper manufacturers. Companies are bolstering their credibility credentials by innovating in biomass balanced superabsorbent polymers. These types of polymers are being made from renewable feedstock in order to replace fossil-based raw materials.

Manufacturers Scale-up Production of Biodegradable Superabsorbent Polymers Using Crosslinked Polyamino Acids 

Superabsorbent polymers made from synthetic copolymer hydrogels have limited biodegradability. This has become a significant environmental threat for companies in the superabsorbent polymers market who are under scrutiny for placing billions of disposable diapers in landfills. Hence, companies such as Ecovia Intelligence— a research specialist in global organic products, are increasing their R&D capabilities in producing biodegradable polyamino acid products for developing improved superabsorbent polymer materials.

Superabsorbent polymers market players are investing in in-house pilot manufacturing plants to increase their production capabilities as per kg-scale batches. They are encouraging funding from government organizations such as the National Science Foundation to gain efficacy in cost-effective fermentation-based bioprocess for developing biodegradable superabsorbents. Manufacturers are using low-cost raw materials such as glycerol and glucose to produce crosslinked polyamino acids. By leveraging innovations in fermentation and crosslinking, manufacturers in the superabsorbent polymers market can commercialize biodegradable superabsorbents in medium-value applications.

Collaborations Lead to Innovations in Cost-efficient and Eco-friendly Hygiene Products

Strategic collaborations are sparking innovations in hygiene products. For instance, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM)— a U.S. global food processing company, announced to join forces with LG Chem— a Korean chemical company, to innovate in bio-based acryclic acids used to manufacture superabsorbent polymers. Bio-based acryclic acids are acquiring increased popularity for the production of hygiene products, including diapers in the superabsorbent polymers market. Due to stringent environmental regulations and increased customer interest in sustainable products, manufacturers are increasing their production capabilities in eco-friendly raw materials by sourcing renewable resources.

Manufacturers in the superabsorbent polymers market are gaining efficacy in cost-efficient solutions such as experimenting with kernel of corn to develop bio-based acrylic acid materials. They are increasing efforts to expand their product portfolio in eco-friendly hygiene products to support growing customer demands.

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Analysts’ Viewpoint

The demand for superabsorbent polymers is expected to surge in healthcare, personal hygiene, and F&B applications, since individuals are gravitating toward the stocking of essential goods amidst the COVID-19 crisis. Stakeholders in the agriculture industry are using potassium polyacrylate products instead of sodium polyacrylate as sodium damages plant growth while potassium acts as a fertilizer. However, it is potentially difficult for common farmers to efficiently mix potassium polyacrylate as per the prescribed dosage. Hence, companies in the superabsorbent polymers market should increase the availability of fully biodegradable SAPs by innovating with polysaccharides to circumvent the limitations of potassium polyacrylate in agricultural products.

Superabsorbent Polymers Market: Overview

  • In terms of value, the superabsorbent polymers market is expected to cross value of US$ 15 Bn by 2030
  • Rise in demand for superabsorbent polymers, owing to their exceptional properties is anticipated to boost the global superabsorbent polymers market during the forecast period
  • Hygienic is projected to be a highly attractive application segment of the global superabsorbent polymers market in the near future

Superabsorbent Polymers Market: Key Drivers and Restraints

  • Growth of the global personal care & hygiene sector offers substantial opportunities to the superabsorbent polymers market. Superabsorbent polymers possess the ability to absorb and retain large volumes of water and aqueous solutions. This makes them useful in baby diapers, sanitary napkins, and adult incontinence pads. Rise in demand for these products, increasing per capita income, and growth in hygiene awareness in developing economies are estimated to drive the superabsorbent polymers market during the forecast period.
  • Rise in usage of superabsorbent polymer as water conservation tool in large-scale farming and agriculture is projected to propel the demand for superabsorbent polymers in the next few years. Furthermore, increase in popularity of landscaping of garden grass and golf courses is likely to fuel the demand for superabsorbent polymers in the near future.
  • Acrylic acid is used as a raw material in the manufacture of superabsorbent polymers. It is obtained from crude oil and petrochemicals. However, the price of crude oil and petrochemicals is volatile. This directly affects the production cost of superabsorbent polymers. Thus, volatility in prices of raw materials is estimated to restrain the global superabsorbent polymers market during the forecast period.

Superabsorbent Polymers Market: Key Segments

  • Based on resin, the superabsorbent polymers market has been divided into sodium polyacrylate, potassium polyacrylate, polyacrylate copolymers, ethylene maleic anhydride copolymers, polysaccharides, and others
  • In terms of value and volume, sodium polyacrylate is a prominent segment of the global superabsorbent polymers market. Sodium polyacrylate is widely used in hygiene products such as diapers and sanitary pads. Agricultural grade of sodium polyacrylate is also available in the market.
  • Based on application, the superabsorbent polymers market has been bifurcated into hygienic and non-hygienic. The hygienic segment is likely to dominate the global superabsorbent polymers market in the near future, as it is a leading consumer of superabsorbent polymers.

Superabsorbent Polymers Market: Key Developments

  • In May 2017, Sumitomo Seika Chemicals Co., Ltd. expanded its production facilities of superabsorbent polymers at Sumitomo Seika Polymers Korea Co., Ltd., its consolidated subsidiary in South Korea. The superabsorbent polymers market in Asia is expected to expand further due to rapid economic growth in the region. The capacity expansion move is anticipated to help the company meet the rising demand for superabsorbent polymers among customers in Asia Pacific.
  • In December 2017, LG Chem Ltd invested US$ 278.32 Mn in expansion of its production capacity of acrylic acid and superabsorbent polymers. The expansion is anticipated to increase the production capacity of its plants in the southwestern city of Yeosu, South Korea.
  • In August 2018, BASF PETRONAS Chemicals, a Malaysia-based joint venture between BASF SE and Petroliam Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS), announced plans to expand its production capacity of the acrylic acid plant and butyl acrylate plant at its Verbund site in Kuantan, Malaysia. Acrylic acid is employed in the manufacture of acrylic esters, superabsorbent polymers, and water treatment chemicals.
  • In November 2014, Nippon Shokubai Co., Ltd. expanded its superabsorbent polymers (SAP) production capacity to meet the rise in global demand for superabsorbent polymers. The company announced plans to build a new superabsorbent polymer plant with annual capacity of 50,000MT/year at Himeji, Japan. The facility employs the latest technologies.

Superabsorbent Polymers Market: Competition Landscape

  • Major global manufacturers of superabsorbent polymers include
    • Evonik Industries AG
    • BASF SE
    • Nippon Shokubai Co., Ltd
    • LG Chem Ltd.
    • Sumitomo Seika Chemicals Co. Ltd
    • Sanyo Chemical Industries
  • KAO Corporation

Superabsorbent Polymers Market – Scope of the Report

The new study on the global superabsorbent polymers market published by Transparency Market Research (TMR) presents a wealth of information on key market dynamics, including drivers, market trends, and challenges, as well as structure of the global superabsorbent polymers market. TMR’s study offers valuable information on the global superabsorbent polymers market to illustrate how growth would discern during the forecast period of 2020 to 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 aspects of the global superabsorbent polymers market during the forecast period.

An extensive analysis of leading market players’ business strategies is also featured in TMR’s study on the global superabsorbent polymers market. This can help readers understand principal factors to foresee the growth of the global superabsorbent polymers market. In this study, readers can also find specific data on avenues for qualitative and quantitative growth of the global superabsorbent polymers market, which would guide market players in making apt decisions in the near future.

Key Questions Answered in TMR’s Study on Superabsorbent Polymers Market

  • What would be the Y-o-Y growth rate of the global superabsorbent polymers market between 2020 and 2030?
  • What is the influence of changing trends in technologies on the global superabsorbent polymers market?
  • Would Asia Pacific continue to remain the most profitable region for manufacturers of superabsorbent polymers in the near future?
  • Which factors would impede the growth of the global superabsorbent polymers market during the forecast period?
  • Which are the leading companies of the global superabsorbent polymers market?

Superabsorbent Polymers Market: Research Methodology

A unique research methodology is utilized by TMR to conduct comprehensive research on the global superabsorbent polymers market and arrive at conclusions on 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 the production of the report on the global superabsorbent polymers 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 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 superabsorbent polymers 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 superabsorbent polymers market. Access to an extensive internal repository and external proprietary databases allows this report to address specific details and questions about the global superabsorbent polymers 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 of the global superabsorbent polymers market more reliable and accurate.

Superabsorbent Polymers Market – Segmentation

TMR’s study on the global superabsorbent polymers market segments the market based on resin, application, and region. Changing market trends and other crucial market dynamics associated with these segments of the global superabsorbent polymers market are discussed in detail.

Resin

  • Sodium Polyacrylate
  • Potassium Polyacrylate
  • Polyacrylate Copolymers
  • Ethylene Maleic Anhydride Copolymers
  • Polysaccharides
  • Others (including Methyl Acrylates)

Application

  • Hygienic
    • Baby Diapers
    • Adult Incontinence Products
    • Sanitary Products
    • Others (including Beauty Mask and Sunscreen)
  • Non-hygienic
    • Packaging
    • Medical & Healthcare
    • Agriculture
    • Others (including Industrial)

Region

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
  • Europe
    • Germany
    • France
    • Italy
    • U.K.
    • Spain
    • Russia & CIS
    • Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific
    • China
    • India
    • Japan
    • ASEAN
    • Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Mexico
    • Rest of Latin America
  • Middle East & Africa
  • South Africa
    • GCC Countries
    • Rest of Middle East & Africa

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