Sorbitol market size was estimated at 1.85 million tons in 2015 and is likely to surpass 2.4 million tons by 2023 growing at a CAGR of over 3.5% from 2016 to 2023.
Sorbitol market size is likely to be worth more than USD 4 billion by 2023. Cosmetic & personal care end-use industry witnessed the highest consumption and accounted for more than 32% of the total volume in 2015. It is also used as low caloric sweetener in food & beverages industries which accounted for more than 28% of the total demand in 2015. Toothpaste applications are likely witness highest gains with an estimated CAGR of over 4% from 2016 to 2023 owing to its properties of preventing tooth decay and cavities.
Liquid sorbitol market witnessed the highest consumption and accounted for more than 80% of the total demand. Factors such as low cost and simplified production process make it more preferable over its crystal counterparts.
Asia Pacific sorbitol market size was estimated over USD 650 million in 2015. North America and Europe are likely to witness moderate growth rates over the forecast period.
This report analyses sorbitol market downstream potential, which is an important building block for commodity chemical such as isosorbide, propylene glycol (1, 2-propanediol), lactic acid, 2, 5-anhydrosugars and 1, 4-sorbitan. One of the largest industrial applications is for production of vitamin c (Ascorbic Acid).
It is obtained from hydrogenation of glucose and the current commercialization processes are based on batch technology with use of Raney nickel as a catalyst. Industry prefers batch technology for ensuring complete conversion of glucose as one of the major applications is into food & beverages with stringent requirements with amount of reducing sugars in the product.
Sorbitol market price trend is driven by sugar markets, quality norms and international trade barriers, primarily following natural sugar movement. Volatile sugar prices and supply demand deficit is likely to have critical influence on sorbitol market price. Prices are also dependent upon corn production. With global increase in corn demand from burgeoning population for food product consumption, corn prices are likely to stay above from farmers production cost and are also likely to affect pricing.
Using it as a building block for various chemicals essentially requires no major technical development. The only change would be required is by adopting continuous process technology instead of batch technology which can be done by using a ruthenium on carbon catalyst and was demonstrated by Engelhard (Now a part of BASF). The yield obtained was 99% with very high weight hourly space velocity and would make sorbitol an inexpensive feedstock for manufacturing commodity chemicals.
It is obtained at cheaper rates from this technology can be used for producing isosorbide are relatively lower costs. Isosorbide is an effective monomer and is used to raise glass transition temperature in polymers. Major isosorbide market uses include copolymer with PET (polyethylene terephthalate) to form polyethylene isosorbide terephthalate (PEIT) which is used in bottle manufacturing applications. These applications include manufacturing of rigid bottles and as well as a potential product to replace glass by plastic in hot fill conditions.
PEIT production involves monomer components terephthalic acid, isosorbide and ethylene glycol. PEIT exhibits high glass temperature transition than conventional PET and this property can also be raised depending upon isosorbide content. PEIT also exhibits higher strength & rigidity and improved UV radiation resistance than PET.
Isosorbide market is also reported to show advantages as copolymers and is used as building blocks in polyurethanes (PU), polycarbonates, polyesters and polyethers. Roquette Freres have also developed its derivatives such as isosorbide-diesters used as PVC plasticizers and dimethyl isosorbides used solvents and fluxing agents. This factor is likely to positively influence sorbitol marker over the forecast period.
Conversion to glycol such as propylene glycol witnesses a major difficulty in obtaining higher yields. The obtained results show 35% propylene glycol yield whereas an output close to 60% or more is desirable. Investment in research to for developing new catalyst systems can solve low yield problems for propylene glycol required for commercial success.
Propylene glycol has major applications in manufacturing UPR (unsaturated polyester resins) and ingredients for anti-freeze and cooling agents (coolants) in engines. They are also used for manufacturing poly-glycols used for braking systems. Such numerous applications of propylene glycol can provide huge potential for sorbitol market growth.
It can be used in the production of lactic acid and 2, 5-anhydrosugar which are used in application such as antifreeze agents and water soluble polymers respectively. These aforementioned commodity chemicals are expected to witness an increase in demand owing to their increasing application scope which is likely to positively influence sorbitol platform market.
The global sorbitol market share is consolidated and is dominated by companies such as ADM, Roquette Freres, Merck and Cargill. Other prominent companies include American International foods, Ecogreen Oleochemicals, Spi Pharma, Spi Pharma, Sorini, Sigma-Aldrich and Quinhuangdao Lihua Starch Company Ltd.
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