The lubricant additives market would be chiefly driven by the strict emission standards and increasing number of passenger cars in developing countries during the forecast period. North America and Europe have set low emission standards for automotives and the same is adopted by countries in Asia Pacific and the Middle East. Implementation of such standards is a time consuming process. A lubricant is the essential element for smooth and efficient functioning of machinery. Lubricants minimize wear & tear, reduce friction and act as a coolant. The lifespan of a machine is prolonged by using appropriate lubricants.
Lubricants are manufactured by blending base oils with additives. Lubricant additives impart various properties to the finished lubricants that provide supplementary protection and performance improvements to the lubricants. These additives primarily include viscosity index (VI) improvers, corrosion inhibitors (CI), pour point depressants (PPD), antioxidants, and friction modifiers. The percentage of additives used in lubricants depends upon the specific nature of their applications. For example, approximately 0.5% to 5% additives are added in lubricants for steam turbine compressors. On the other hand, about 10% to 30% additives are used in lubricants for engines. The percentage and type of lubricant additives in engine oils, gear oils, hydraulic oils and grease also varies. For example, extreme pressure additives are rarely used in engine oils. The chlorine or sulfur compounds present in extreme pressure additives can react with the by-product from fuel combustion that leads to corrosion of the engine parts and bearings.
Dispersants dominated the lubricant additives market in 2013. However, antioxidants is expected to be the fastest-growing segment during the forecast period. The major reason for the increase in consumption of antioxidants is the high probability of damage to modern engines and turbines from oxidation in lubricants. The market share of VI improvers is anticipated to increase during the forecast period. The shift from high to low viscosity lubricants is expected to fuel the consumption of VI improvers significantly in Asia Pacific from 2014 to 2020. The other segment consists of various lubricant additives such as corrosion inhibitors, metal deactivators, and extreme pressure additives. These products together held a large share of lubricant additives market in 2013.
Stringent carbon dioxide emission regulations promote the use of low viscosity and high performance lubricants. In Europe, the projected carbon dioxide emission level is 130 gram per kilometer, which is further expected to be reduced to 95 gram per kilometer by 2021. The OEMs and lubricant additive manufacturing companies have a big role to play in reducing carbon dioxide emission from vehicles. Improved drain intervals in automotives is anticipated to restrain the lubricant additives market growth. Engine oil consumption is inversely proportional to the drain intervals; therefore, engine oil consumption is likely to decrease with an increase in drain intervals. This directly affects the consumption of lubricant additives. Research and development has an important role to play in the development of lubricants with improved performance. Lubricant additive companies and OEMs work in collaboration to develop new products and technology that will result in lower emission and better fuel economy.
The global lubricant additives market is dominated by few players. Some of the key players in the lubricant additives market include BASF SE, Infineum International Limited, Chevron Oronite Company, LLC, Evonik Industries AG, Chemtura Corporation, The Lubrizol Corporation, Afton Chemical Corporation, Rhein Chemie Rheinau GmbH, and Tianhe Chemicals Group Limited. Only a few companies in the lubricant additives market are into multi line production of additives.
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