The global butyric acid market size is projected to surpass US$ 125 million by 2027, and register a CAGR of 14.4% over the forecast period (2019 - 2027).
Butyric acid, also known by the chemical names butanoic acid and n-Butyric acid, is a carboxylic acid that is commonly found in its esterified form in plant oils and animal fat. Butyric acid is a colourless liquid with an unpleasant, penetrant odour. It tastes like butter and is used as a flavouring agent in food manufacturing. Butyric acid is soluble in water, ether, and ethanol. It is highly corrosive to metals and tissue, and protective eye-goggles, gloves made of PVC or rubber, as well as chemical-resistant shoes are worn when handling butyric acid as a safety measure. For industrial applications, butyric acid is generally prepared by fermenting starch or sugar.
Butyric acid has several industrial applications, and recently, in the light of increasing petroleum prices and rising need for clean energy resources, butyric acid is being considered as a precursor to biofuels. Butyric acid may emerge as an effective alternative for gasoline in the near future. It has a wide demand in the transportation sector, owing to the variety of advantages butyric acid has over ethanol. For instance, butanol is far less volatile compared to ethanol, does not attract water which makes it ideal for transportation in pipelines, and is also less sensitive to low temperatures. Moreover, butyric acid has uses in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries since it has been associated with several anticancer properties. Several research institutes are engaged in the development of prodrugs containing butyric acid which can be used as a potential treatment of cancers, leukemia, and side effects of alopecia caused by chemotherapy. In the chemical industry, butyric acid has primary application in the manufacture of cellulose acetate butyrate plastics. In end use industries such as cosmetics, and food and beverages, butyric acid esters are used to add fragrance and flavor to products. These factors are expected to drive demand for butyric acid over the forecast period.
However, environmental and health concerns associated with the handling of butyric acid are projected to restrain growth of the global butyric acid market. Inhaling butyric acid can cause coughing, soreness of the throat, and respiratory problems. Furthermore, ingesting butyric acid can result in abdominal pain, and collapse. Physical contact with butyric acid causes skin irritation, burns, blistering, and prolonged exposure can impair the vision.
Asia Pacific is expected to emerge as the largest market for butyric acid owing to the rapidly expanding pharmaceutical and agriculture sectors, where butyric acid animal feed application. Agro-based economies such as India are estimated to account for a significant market share during the forecast period. Additionally, presence of several key players in the region coupled with rapidly expanding end use industries is expected to facilitate growth of the Asia Pacific butyric acid market. Stringent regulations by environmental agencies in North America and Europe regarding the use of antibiotics in animal feed will facilitate demand for butyric acid in biofuel production in the regions.
Some of the major companies operating in the global butyric acid market are Eastman Chemical Company, Dmitrievsky Chemical Plant, and Alfa Aesar GmbH & CO KG among others.