Guerbet alcohols are highly branched alcohols that have lower melting points than linear alcohols which makes them ideal for personal care, plastic molds, processing of paper, and metal lubrication application. Due to its low volatility, it is widely used for the production of liquid and lubricant derivatives. Moreover, it is also used as fattening agents and emulsion stabilizer across various end-user industries. This alcohol has excellent solvent properties for active ingredient composed of different chemicals. Furthermore, the cosmetic industry it is used to prepare antiperspirants, deodorants, and hair removal formulations.
The global guerbet alcohol market is projected to reach US$ 1500 million by the end of 2027, in terms of revenue, growing at CAGR of 5.8% during the forecast period (2019 to 2027).
Rising demand for guerbet alcohols due to its multifunctional cosmetics products such as cleansing, anti-aging, anti-oxidant, moisturizing and UV protection is expected to propel the market growth of guerbet alcohols. Moreover, guerbet alcohols also have a super fattening agent, perfuming agent, emulsion stabilizer, viscosity increasing agent, and binder property which is further anticipated to raise its demand from the cosmetic industry.
The booming textile industry, especially in the Asia Pacific region, is anticipated to propel the market growth of guerbet alcohols. According to the India Brand Equity Foundation, India's overall textile exports stood at US$ 39.2 billion in 2018 and is expected to increase to US$ 82.00 billion by 2021. India’s textile and apparel exports stood at US$ 38.70 billion in 2019 and are expected to increase to US$ 82.00 billion by 2021 from US$ 11.92 billion in 2020.
Regionally, Europe dominated the global guerbet alcohol market in 2018, reporting 33.0% market share in terms of revenue, followed by Asia-Pacific and North America, respectively.
Figure 1. Global Guerbet Alcohol Market, Revenue Share (%), By Region, 2018
The high cost of guerbet alcohols due to comprehensive conversion during the dimerization process of alcohol is projected to hinder the market growth of guerbet alcohols. The production process of high purity guerbet alcohols is a multi-step process which includes oxidation of alcohol to aldehyde followed by aldol condensation, addition, and subsequent dehydration and which are then hydrogenated to saturate alcohol.
Side-effects associated with the cosmetic product that incorporates 2-octyldodecanol as few tests have shown skin irritation is expected to hinder the market growth. Moreover, studies have also shown that application of 2-octyldodecanol based cosmetic products have led to irritation in the eyes. Aforementioned factors are expected to restrict the market growth of guerbet alcohols over the forecast period.
Growing metal processing industry where guerbet alcohols are used to produce metal lubricants is expected to offer lucrative opportunities for market growth over the forecast period. According to the India Brand Equity Foundation, India was the world’s second-largest steel producer with production standing at 106.5 metric tons in 2018. India’s steel production capacity has expanded to 137.975 million tons in 2019. As of 2018, India is the world’s second-largest producer of crude steel.
Booming paper and pulp industry where guerbet alcohols are used as defoamers is expected to foster the market growth of guerbet alcohols over the forecast period. According to The International Energy Agency, the paper and paperboard production growth rate accelerated to 2.3% in 2017, up from 0.7% during 2010?16, and demand is expected to continue rising to 2030 in the SDS, driven by population and economic growth. Therefore, the growing paper and pulp industry is expected to augment the market growth.
Figure 2. Global Guerbet Alcohol Market – Opportunity Analysis
Increasing the focus of manufacturers to boost the production capacities of guerbet alcohols is expected to augment the market growth over the forecast period. For instance, in August 2019, Sasol announced a world-scale U.S. Ethane Cracker operation in order to provide feedstock to six new derivative units at Lake Charles multi-asset site. The ethylene produced in the facility will be used in six downstream plants on-site to produce a range of high-value derivatives including ethylene oxide, mono-ethylene glycol, ethoxylates, low density and linear low-density polyethylene, and Ziegler and Guerbet alcohols.
Growing demand for lubricants and petroleum products is anticipated to foster the market growth of guerbet alcohols. Moreover, expanding the oil and gas industry is expected to augment the market growth of guerbet alcohols over the forecast period.
Figure 3. Global Guerbet Alcohol Market, Revenue Share (%), By End-use, in 2018
On the basis of end use, in 2018, cosmetics & personal care accounted the largest market share of 50% in terms of revenue, followed by detergents & cleaners and others, respectively.
Figure 4. Global Guerbet Alcohol Market – Value Chain Analysis
Key players operating in the global guerbet alcohol market are BASF SE, Sasol Ltd, New Japan Chemical Co., Ltd., Kisco Ltd., Kokyu Alcohol Kogyo Co., Ltd., and DowPol Corporation