Viscosity reducing agents are used for limiting or eliminating the viscosity in process where excess viscosity may cause product or monetary losses. Reduced viscosity results in lower friction which in turn eases the flow of liquid thus leading to lower requirement in power. Viscosity reducing agent enhances fluid load recovery and reduces damage created by long chain polymers. Viscosity reducing agents offer various benefits such as improvement in productivity and load recovery, lower friction reducing polymer damage, resistance to polymer adsorption to the fracture face and reduction in fluid viscosity.

In food & beverages industry, viscosity reducing agents are used as emulsifier, stabilizer, wetting agent, release agent, instantizing agent, lubricant, antioxidant and dispersant. Surfactants help in breaking down the boundary between water and oils and/or dirt.  It also hold these oils and dirt in suspension, thus making their removal easy.  Surfactants contain hydrophilic (i.e. water loving) group, such as an acid anion, (-CO2- or SO3-) and a hydrophobic (i.e. water hating) group, such as an alkyl chain.  Surfactants are used in sprays for hair and body care, cleaning sprays and spraying of pesticides.

Viscosity Reducing Agents Market Taxonomy

On the basis of product type, the global market is classified into:

  • Dispersants
  • Surfactants
  • Polymers

On the basis of end use industry, the global market is classified into:

  • Construction
  • Oil & Gas
  • Polymer
  • Chemicals
  • Food & Beverages

Viscosity reducing agents are used to reduce the viscosity of heavy oils by suspending the oil droplets in water thus reducing the friction. Dispersants help to deflocculate solids and thus ominously reduce the viscosity of a fluid or semi-solid. This results in increased solid loading – the quantity of dispersible crushed material. Surfactants are used in the form of solution in water or alcohols for reducing viscosity of sugar propellant formulations. Viscosity reducing agents are used as both    foam formation agents for culinary foams, body care, flotation, firefighting and foam prevention agents for cooling lubricants, printing and coating, industrial cleaning and liquid conveying.  

Viscosity Reducing Agents Market Outlook – Rising Demand in Chemicals allied Industries to be the Major Market Driver  

Asia Pacific and North America are expected to be the most potential markets for plastic additives manufacturers. According to IBEF, India is the seventh largest producer of chemicals in the world worldwide and third largest producer in Asia. The Indian chemicals sector was valued at US$ 139 billion in 2016 In 2015-2016 the total production of the major chemicals including petrochemicals was 23.9 million tons. The Indian chemicals industry has attracted various foreign investors such as Akzo Nobel, BASF, ADEKA, Mitsubishi Chemicals Corporation, Syngenta, DuPont, Henkel, Croda, Wacker Metroark, DyStar, and Rhodla. India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) is a Trust established by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Department of Commerce in collaboration with the Government of India with the purpose of promoting and creating international awareness of goods manufactured in India.

Increased acceptance of viscosity reducing agents in chemicals and oil & gas industry is fueling the growth of viscosity reducing agents market, especially in Asia Pacific and Middle East regions. Product innovation and expansion in various geographies is a key strategy adopted by the major players in the viscosity reducing agents industry. In March 2016, Dorf Ketal Chemicals India Pvt Ltd, leading specialty chemicals producer acquired US-based specialty oilfield chemical supplier Flow-Chem Technologies LLC. This acquisition will help the company to increase the market in Gulf of Mexico and the US. Some of the major companies operating in the global viscosity reducing agents market include Halliburton, NuGenTec, Flowlift, NALCO, Flow-Chem Technologies LLC., Thomas Swan & Co. Ltd., PartowIdeh Pars, Qflo, Concophilips, Ciranda, Lubrizol Specialty Products, Inc., and Oil Flux Americas.

Viscosity Reducing Agents Market – Key Developments

  • In September 2019, Transneft opened new production plant of viscosity/drag reducing agent in the Alabuga Special Economic Zone, the Republic of Tatarstan. The plant has a production capacity of three kilo tons per year and is projected to increase its capacity up to ten kilo tons per year. The company is aiming to produce 600 tons of agents to fulfill company’s requirement for drag reducing agent.
  • In February 2019, CSL Capital Management, L.P. (CSL Capital) sold its viscosity/drag reducing agent business to Liquid Power Specialty Products Inc. With this acquisition, Liquid Power Specialty Products Inc. added high quality viscosity/drag reducing agent production facility & newly hired team to better serve its customers globally.      
  • In June 2017, KMG Chemicals, Inc. acquired Flochem LLC, a leading manufacturers of viscosity/drag reducing agents for improving pipeline performance in oil & gas industries. This acquisition strengthened position of KMG Chemicals Inc. in serving customers worldwide.
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