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Tall Oil Fatty Acid Market : Complete Study of Current Trends in the Market, Industry Growth Drivers

Press Release   •   Nov 08, 2016 07:53 EST

Tall oil fatty acid, commonly abbreviated as TOFA, is obtained from crude tall oil (CTO), a by-product of paper and pulp manufacturing, through the Kraft process. The name originated from the Swedish word “tallolja,” which means pine oil. Tall oil is primarily derived from pine trees. However, it can be derived from all coniferous trees. Tall oil fatty acid accounts for 15% to 30% of the yield from fractional distillation of crude tall oil. Tall oil rosin (TOR), distilled tall oil (DTO), and pitch fuel are the other constituents of crude tall oil. TOFA is one of the primary varieties of natural fatty acids in the western hemisphere. It accounts for a significant share of the market. TOFA primarily comprises oleic acid and linoleic acid in almost equal proportion with trace amounts of linolenic, palmitic, and stearic acids. Dimer acids, alkyd resins, and fatty acid esters are the primary intermediate chemicals of TOFA. These are further processed for applications in end-user industries.

TOFA is a rich source of oleic and linoleic acid; these two account for 85% of the total fatty acid composition. Demand for TOFA is high due to the high concentration of oleic acid and linoleic acid in it. TOFA is converted into intermediate chemicals such as alkyd resins, dimer acids, and fatty acid esters in order to make it suitable for usage in end-use products. Alkyd resins are used in paints and coatings, plastic and rubber additives, and printing inks. Dimer acids are employed in coatings, adhesives, lubricants, and fuel additives. Dimer acids are also used in small quantities in the soaps & detergents industry. Fatty acid esters are widely used as surfactants to manufacture soaps & detergents as well as personal care products. TOFA is used in various end-user industries such as soaps & detergents, paints & coatings, lubricants, plastic and rubber additives, fuel additives, asphalt additives, metal working fluids, and adhesives. In terms of volume, the overall TOFA market is estimated to expand at a CAGR of 3.4% between 2014 and 2022.

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The market for TOFA is driven by the increase in demand for oleic acid in North America. TOFA is rich in oleic acid along with other natural fatty acids such as tallow oil fatty acid, lard oil fatty acid, safflower oil fatty acid, olive oil fatty acid, and peanut oil fatty acid. Most vegetable oil fatty acids are significantly higher priced; hence, these are scarcely used in industrial applications. Oleic acid is used in various applications such as soaps & detergents, paints & coatings, adhesives, emulsifiers, and oilfield chemicals. Most of these applications have expanded moderately; however, demand for oleic acid in oilfield applications holds special importance. North America accounts for the largest demand for oilfield chemicals in the world due to the presence of shale assets, oil sands, and deep-water petroleum resources in the Gulf of Mexico.

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North America and Europe are the major producers as well as consumers of TOFA. Together, these regions account for more than 75% share of the global market. Availability of high quality raw materials and high production capacity of pulp and paper industry are the primary factors for the dominance of these two regions. Demand for TOFA in North America and Europe is projected to remain stable during the forecast period. Japan accounts for the majority of demand for TOFA in Asia Pacific. The country is distantly followed by China and India.

The global TOFA market is highly concentrated in nature, with the top five companies commanding the vast majority of the market share. Major companies operating in the market include Arizona Chemical Company, LLC, MeadWestvaco Corporation, Forchem Oy, Georgia Pacific LLC, and Harima Chemicals Group, Inc.

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