Acetone is a clear, colorless, volatile and flammable organic liquid with a characteristic odor described as pungent or fruity. It is the simplest and smallest ketone also called as 2-propanone or dimethyl ketone. It is primarily used as an industrial solvent and chemical intermediate. Acetone is miscible with water and serves as an important solvent, which is majorly used for cleaning purposes in laboratories. Acetone is also found in paints, varnishes, and lacquers and is used as a solvent for cement in the leather and rubber industries. Acetone is often the primary component in cleaning agents such as nail polish remover. Acetone is a component of superglue remover and easily removes residues from glass and porcelain. Make-up artists use acetone to remove skin adhesive from the netting of wigs and mustaches by immersing the item in an acetone bath, then removing the softened glue residue with a stiff brush.
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Acetone is produced directly or indirectly from propene. More than 90% of the world’s acetone production occurs simultaneously with phenol, hence following the same trend as phenol. In addition to being manufactured, acetone also occurs naturally, even being biosynthesized in small amounts in the human body. Acetone is used as a polar aprotic solvent in a variety of organic reactions, such as SN2 reactions. An important use for acetone is in the production of methyl methacrylate and bisphenol A. Bisphenol A is used for the production of polycarbonate and epoxy resins. Polycarbonate resins are widely used in automotive industry for advanced lighting applications, such as headlamp bezels, headlamp lenses, and light guides.
A major driver for growth of the global acetone market is rising demand for acetone for methyl methacrylate production. Methyl methacrylate is used to produce polymethyl methacrylate resin, which has a wide application spectrum such as automotive and transportation, architecture and construction, electronics, and energy. Methyl methacrylate is also used in the impregnation of concrete to make it water-repellent. Also, it is used in medicine and dentistry sector to make prosthetic devices and as a ceramic filler or cement.
However, the emerging trend of using green solvents is a major factor restraining the growth of the global acetone market. Increasing use of water-based solvents in paints and coatings and development in bio-based solvents such as renewable acetone may hamper growth of the global acetone market.
According to the Coherent Market Insights analysis, Asia Pacific held the dominant position in the market in 2017. The Asia Pacific is projected to maintain its dominance throughout the forecast period, owing to growing housing and infrastructure sectors (hotels, stadium, and restaurants) and paints and coatings industry. Economical labor rates and easily accessible petrochemical feedstocks are also supporting lucrative growth of the acetone market in this region.
Among applications, the solvent segment is projected to gain major traction over the forecast period, owing to its demand from chemical, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics industry. It is a common solvent for rinsing laboratory glassware due to its low cost, volatility, and ability to dissolve water. For similar reasons, acetone is also used as a drying agent.
Key players in Global Acetone Market
Key players operating in the global acetone market include INEOS Phenol, Royal Dutch Shell PLC, The Dow Chemical Company, Mitsui Chemicals, Inc., Sasol, Hindustan Organic Chemicals Limited, Domo Chemicals, Honeywell International, Inc., Formosa Chemicals and Fiber Corporation, and CEPSA Quimica, Prasol Chemicals Pvt. Ltd., and EMCO Limited.
Manufacturers are expanding the production capacities as well as introducing the new plants as a part of a strategic planning. For instance, a Joint venture between INEOS Phenol and Sinopec Yangzi Petrochemical Company (Sinopec YPC) announced in September 2013, that the new Joint Venture partners will benefit from Sinopec’s local feedstock advantages and cumene technology alongside INEOS’ proprietary phenol technology. The annual capacity of the new facility would be at least 400,000 tons of phenol and 250,000 tons of acetone.
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