Oleyl alcohol is a derivative of unsaturated natural fatty acids. It is produced by catalytic hydrogenation of esters of oleic acid. Oleyl alcohol can also be derived by Boweault-Blanc reduction reaction of butyl oleate using sodium and butyl alcohol as raw materials. Furthermore, oleyl alcohol occurs naturally in fish oil and oils of other aquatic mammals. It is insoluble in water but miscible in other alcohols, ethers, and chloroform. Oleyl alcohol has broad range of industrial applications. It is used as cosmetic emollient, rheology modifier, defoaming agent, plasticizer, automotive lubricant, and chemical intermediate. Personal care, automotive, plastic, textile and leather, oil & gas, and printing ink industries are the key end-users of oleyl alcohol.
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Demand for oleyl alcohol is significantly driven by the growth of personal care, textile processing, and automotive industries. Expansion in the personal care industry, which is one of the major end users, is a driving factor that is expected to positively influence the demand for oleyl alcohol by the end of 2023. Oleyl alcohol is employed as cosmetic emollient and stabilizer for preparing a wide range of topical as well as dermatological products such as eye make-up, hair shampoos and conditioners, body lotions, creams, and balms. Oleyl alcohol is manufactured using natural fatty acids derived from plant as well as animal sources; therefore, it is not reactive on human skin and thus, can be suitably used as an active cosmetic ingredient.
Growth in textile processing and expansion in the automotive industry are the other driving factors that are likely to boost the market for oleyl alcohol by the end of the forecast period. Oleyl alcohol is used as a surfactant as well as softening agent during the processing of fabrics in the textile industry. It enhances the texture of the fabric, thereby improving the overall aesthetics of textiles. Oleyl alcohol is employed as a lubricating additive in grease and lube oil in the automotive industry.
Fluctuation in prices of raw materials, especially natural fatty acids, is likely to dampen the market for oleyl alcohol during the forecast period. However, increasing use of oleyl alcohol in research & development of pharmaceutical formulations for drug delivery is anticipated to provide significant growth opportunities to the global market during the next couple of years.
Asia Pacific is expected to account for the largest share of the oleyl alcohol market both in terms of production as well as consumption. ASEAN countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand currently hold the largest production base of oleochemicals, especially oleyl alcohol, and also have good trade relations with developed countries. Furthermore, the consumption of oleyl alcohol is anticipated to be the highest in Asia Pacific due to the large population dynamics. China and India are likely to witness high demand for oleyl alcohol by the end of 2023.
These countries are densely populated and have broad consumer base coupled with developing end-user markets, especially the personal care segment. Demand for oleyl alcohol in North America and Europe is anticipated to witness stabilized growth rate by 2023, due to lower population coupled with maturity in downstream markets. However, growth in these regions is likely to be supported due to usage of raw materials derived from biological resources as compared to petrochemical or synthetic derivatives. Middle East & Africa is anticipated to witness steady growth in the oleyl alcohol market due to consumption of oleyl alcohol in oil & gas, automotive, and personal care industries in the region. The region would be followed by Latin America.
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Ecogreen Oleochemicals (Singapore) Pte Ltd., Croda International Plc, Sasol Olefins & Surfactants GmbH, FPG Oleochemicals Sdn. Bhd., Henkel AG & Co. KGaA, and Ashland Inc. are some of the oleyl alcohol manufacturers that are currently operating in the global market.
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