The global ketene market size is expected to witness potential gains in the future, and register a significant CAGR over the forecast period (2019 - 2027).

Market Overview

Ketene is an organic compound that contains the functional grouping C=C=O and is used in the manufacture of acetic anhydride and other industrial organic chemicals. Ketene is prepared by heating acetic acid or acetone to about 700 °C. This unstable compound is used as a reagent in various chemical processes. Ketene is useful for acetylating nucleophiles to make esters, amides, and other compounds that cannot easily be made with other reagents. Several types of ketenes exist including, carbon-substituted ketenes, nitrogen-substituted ketenes, halogen-substituted ketenes, and others.

Market Dynamics

Ketenes are used in production of various chemical compounds such as acetic anhydride and diketene and participate in various cycloadditions. These compounds also produce enol and ester. Ethyl acetoacetate can be prepared using a diketene in reaction with ethanol. The lactone dimers of long-chain monoalkylketenes are used as sizing agents for paper. Acetic anhydride is used as general adhesive and binding agent for a variety of and manufacturing acetyl compounds and cellulose acetates. Increasing demand for anhydride and diketene is expected to boost growth of the global ketene market. Acetic anhydride is used in pharmaceuticals, beverages, aromatics, and agrochemicals. Diketene finds application in manufacture of derivative such as amides and anilines for the paint and coatings and textile industry.

However, ketene is a toxic compound and an irritant. It may produce delayed respiratory damage. Moreover, acetic anhydride is banned in several countries as it is used as the major precursor for the production of heroin and is also used in the manufacture of improvised explosive devices (IEDs). These factors are expected to hinder growth of the market to some extent.         

Market Outlook

On the basis of region, the market is segmented into North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa. Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest growing market over the forecast period. This is owing to growing end-use industries in the region such as pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and paints and coatings. Increasing demand for acetic anhydride and diketene from China and India is also expected to contribute to its market share. North America is expected to be the second fastest market over the forecast period. This is owing to increasing demand for pharmaceutical aromatics, cellulose acetate and pigments in the region. The U.S. is a major growth engine in the region. The market growth in Europe is expected to be adversely impacted by stringent regulations from Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) and EU.

Key Players

Major players operating in the global ketene market include, Lonza Group, Kemira Oyj, and Daicel Corporation.

Key Developments:-

  • In 2014, Kamira announced to acquire BASFs’ global alkyl ketene dimer emulsion business. The acquisition aimed to strengthen the paper chemical product portfolio of BASF SE. Also, the acquisition would benefit Kamira in strengthening the product offering to the customers, particularly in European market.
  • In 2018, Kemira Oyj entered into partnership with Shandong Tiancheng Wanfeng Chemical Technology, a producer of alkyl ketene dimer wax based in China. The partnership aimed to strengthen the Kamiras’ market position in the pulp & paper industry.
  • In 2013, Kemira Oyj and Wilmar International Limited entered into joint venture through their subsidiaries to produce alkyl ketene dimer wax in China. This joint venture aimed to increase the offerings to the paper customers, worldwide.
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