Specialty chemicals, performance chemicals, and fine chemicals are terms that are often used interchangeably. Specialty chemicals improve the performance of an end product or manufacturing process. End products include adhesives, cleaning materials, agricultural, food additives, lubricants, surfactants, textile auxiliaries, elastomers, and flavors. Specialty and fine chemicals find wide application across various end-use industries such as aerospace, automobiles, cosmetics, construction, textile, polymers, and food. Increasing industrialization and urbanization have led to revival of the economy and flourishing trade. Population explosion, especially in Asia Pacific, is fueling demand for consumer goods, food, and infrastructure. A variety of specialty chemicals are used for production of agrochemicals, construction chemicals, cosmetic products, food additives, textile, polymers, and plastics, among others. Moreover, emerging economies in Asia Pacific are characterized by rapid growth of end-use industries which is fueling growth of the specialty and fine chemicals market. The growth of specialty chemicals is largely driven by growth of agricultural, construction and automobiles industries. Moreover, development of environment friendly products such as TERGITOL L Series surfactants by The Dow Chemicals Company are favoring demand for specialty and fine chemicals.
Surge in Pharmaceuticals, Agrochemicals and Construction Activities Augmenting Market Growth
The pharmaceuticals industry is expected to be one of the major end users of specialty chemicals. The rapidly growing population, especially the geriatric population which is characterized by high susceptibility to various diseases, is fuelling growth of the global pharmaceuticals industry. This creates a highly conducive environment for the growth of the specialty and fine chemicals market.
Furthermore, positive growth of end-user industries such as agrochemicals, construction, and automobiles is facilitating the market growth. Growing preference among consumers across the globe for eco-friendly products is influencing manufacturers to develop bio-based chemicals. These are especially preferred in agrochemicals and fertilizers for increasing crop yield. The agricultural sector is growing continuously in order to keep up with the population growth. Specialty and fine chemicals find a range of applications in fertilizers and pest control products, which is augmenting growth of the market.
Construction chemicals are used in activities such as residential project, commercial complex and industrial applications. Construction chemicals minimize the quantity of cement and water used in construction activities. Asia Pacific is one of the lucrative markets for specialty chemicals due to presence of rapidly expanding economies and urbanization, which is fueling demand for advanced and modern infrastructure in the region. Moreover, several players operating in the construction industry are utilizing various construction chemicals such as concrete admixtures, adhesive & sealants, and flame retardants in order to expand their consumer base and presence in the global markets. Polymer is the basic raw material used by in the construction industry.
The automobile industry is one of the lucrative sectors for specialty chemicals. Polymers, paints, plastics, adhesives, fibers, and sealants are extensively used in the automobile industry. China, Japan, India, and the U.S. are major automotive hubs, which is likely to drive demand for specialty and fine chemicals from these markets. Asia Pacific is positioned to be a major revenue contributor in the global market due to presence of emerging economies such as India and China, and supportive government initiatives in the region. For instance, the Government of India, highlights the Auto Mission Plan (AMP) in its Make in India initiative to increase its passenger vehicle market by 2026 to 9.4 million units. India also witnessed US$ 15.79 billion Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from 2000 to 2016 as per the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP). This creates a highly conducive environment for growth of the global specialty and fine chemicals market.
Challenges – Strict Environmental Regulation
The synthetics based specialty and fine chemicals have a negative impact on the environment, which affects the ecosystem and life. Various environmental protection agencies have enforced numerous environmental regulations on use of chemicals in various industries. This may hinder growth of the specialty chemicals market during the forecast period. In October 2003, the European Union banned use of atrazine due to its ubiquitous and unpreventable water contamination. Stringent environmental regulations are forcing end-use industries to opt for bio-based chemicals, which is expected to restrict the growth of the specialty and fine chemical market due to major shift in technology involved. Moreover, the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection imposes penalties for high carbon emissions, which has led many chemicals manufacturing units in the country to shut down.
Specialty and Fine Chemicals – Regulatory Scenario:
Key players in the market include Akzo Nobel N.V., BASF SE, Ashland Inc., Clariant AG, Evonik Industries, The Dow Chemical Company, Huntsman Corporation, DuPont, Arkema S.A., Bayer AG, Chevron Philips Chemical Company, Syngenta AG, Albemarle Corporation, Chaitra Corporation, Eastman Chemical Company, Solvay, and INEOS Group AG among others. Key players in the market are also focusing on strategic mergers and acquisitions to enhance their profitability. For instance, in March, 2017, The Dow Chemical Company and DuPont merged as part of a US$ 62 billion deal. The companies would subsequently break into three separate publicly traded companies that would focus on agriculture, material science, and specialty chemicals.
Lignin, also referred as monolignols, is a class of complex polymer and are widely used across industries such as construction, oil drilling, pulp & paper, and agriculture. They are a key ingredient used in the concrete admixtures in order to enhance the shel... View more
Humic acid is an ingredient obtained from the biodegradation of organic substances such as soil/ humus, peat, and coal. It is a complex mixture of various acids from phenolate and carboxyl groups that can be widely used to provide required nourishment to crops/ plants... View more
Glutathione is a tripeptide compound, which is made from amino acids such as glycine, cysteine, and glutamic acid. Glutathione helps in preventing damage to important cellular components of human body, caused by reactive oxygen species such as free radicals, peroxides... View more
Industrial coating is a paint or coating, which is defined by its protective, rather than aesthetic properties, although it can provide both. The most common use of industrial coating includes corrosion control of steel or concrete. ... View more
Definition of Market/Industry: Fatty acid esters are ester produce via the reaction between alcohol and fatty acid. They are widely used acro... View more
Peracetic acid is a liquid chemical product that is highly acidic in nature. It is produced by hydrogen peroxide and acetic acid. It is considered as one of the most effective agents after ozone. It is widely used across disinfectant applications across various indust... View more
Water-based coating binders are the film forming elements of a coating. Coating binders are also known as resins. These are polymers, which form a matrix for holding the pigments in place. The ... View more
Heat seal coatings are thermoplastic coatings, which can be applied to a variety of films or laminates. Heat seal coatings are designed to adhere to different substrates using heat and pressure to form the seal. Heat seal coatings are used in flexible packaging struct... View more
Definition of Market/Industry: Tallow fatty acids belong to the family of the fatty acids derived from animal fats. These fatty acids are widely used across wide range of applications such as resins, personal ... View more
Carboxymethyl cellulose is cellulose gum which is extracted from wood pulp and pure cotton. Cellulose gum is widely used across various industries which include oil &gas, agriculture, cosmetics & personal care, paint, paper processing, pharmaceutical, foo... View more
Hydrazine hydrate is a highly reactive chemical compound that appears colorless with a pungent smell. It is widely used in polymerization and across the pharmaceutical industry. It is used as a foaming agent across the polymer industry in the production of polymers. M... View more
Chitosan is a derivative of chitin that is extracted from shells of aquatic species such as lobsters, shrimps, and crabs. Chitosan is widely used in dietary supplements as it inhibits the lipid abs... View more
Mining chemicals are widely used across mining industries for various process such as wastewater treatment, minerals processes, and drilling water. They are used to extract metal such as copper, platinum, and gold. Mining chemicals are broadly classified int... View more
Construction paints and coatings are coatings used in the construction industry for protecting the infrastructure from corrosion and harsh weather conditions. This paints increase the resistance of the various infrastructure surface and prevent it from degra... View more
Phenoxyethanol is a preservative used widely across the personal care industry in order to combat the Gram-negative bacteria but is weak against molds and yeast. It has massive use in cosmetic products and is classified into phenoxyethanol P25 and phenoxyethanol ... View more
Chemical mechanical planarization (CMP) is one of the crucial steps used multiple times during the manufacture of semiconductors. This process is used at every layer of wafer for removing excess material and for creating a smooth surface with the help of a liquid know... View more
Ammoniums sulfate is a solid inorganic compound that is white in color and composed of 24% sulfate ions and 21% nitrogen. It is mainly used as a fertilizer for alkaline soils as it helps to reduce the pH value. Ammoniums sulfate is produced by reacting sulfuric a... View more
Sodium hypochlorite is a solution made from reacting chlorine with sodium hydroxide solution. Sodium hypochlorite is a greenish yellow liquid with a faint chlorine-like odour. This solution is also known as... View more