Mr. Shambhu Nath Jha, Research Head – Chemicals at Fact.MR discusses latest trends shaping Europe’s dimeric fatty acid marketplace
Fatty acids are witnessing continued adoption in a variety of end-use industries, in their absolute forms or derivatives. In particular, demand for dimeric fatty acid is to rise steadily in the wake of rising application in polyamides, oil filed chemicals, lubricants, adhesives, corrosion inhibitors and other products. The automotive sector, a prominent end-user of lubricants has started to present declining demands in the backdrop of ongoing electrification of the auto industry.
Europe contributes to a significant portion of global fatty acid consumption after Asia Pacific. With Western Europe’s greater capacity of fatty acid production, demand for dimeric fatty acid in Europe will be impacted by maturing markets for some applications while steady flow in demand for dimeric fatty acid-based in emerging applications.
What are the regulatory requirements for dimeric fatty acid producers in Europe?
Dimeric fatty acids obtained from tall oil are exempted from the obligation to register under REACH Annex V.9. REACH that regulates activities of manufacturers, importers and users of chemicals has categorized tall oil fatty acids (TOFA) under REACH Annex V which lists individual substances or a group of substances exempted from the obligation to register. However, Annex V.9 has put forth the criteria for certain naturally occurring substances in order to be exempted from registration. These substances include tall oil fatty acids (TOFA) and its salts.
Where is demand for dimeric fatty acid concentrated in this region?
Demand for dimeric fatty acid continued to remain largest in EU4 countries France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom. These big fours of Europe have mature markets of end-user of dimeric fatty acids such as dimeric acid-based polyamide resins, adhesives and construction insulators. In particular, these countries present significant demand for non-reactive and reactive polyamides in the flourishing automotive industry.
How is the trend of bio-based raw materials embraced across European industries?
European chemical sector, while at the helm of the sustainability trend continues to integrate stringent regulations to ensure human and environmental protection. The coating industry in Europe has been utilizing a greater concentration of bio-based raw materials. As major R&D investments are involved in a bid to address the high cost, quality and versatility of bio-based raw materials in industrial applications. Plant-based origin of dimeric fatty acids makes them favorable choice for industrial application amid rising adoption of bio-based raw materials in European industries.
What is the application scope of dimeric fatty acids in the region?
Europe registers a significant consumption of polyamides – reactive and non-reactive that find extensive application in printing inks, adhesives and coatings. Dimeric fatty acids serve as a precursor in the production of non-reactive polyamide resins, thereby garnering considerable volume consumption in polyamide resin industry. Demand for dimeric fatty acid in oil field chemicals is also increasing at a faster pace owing to realignment of the oil and gas industry in the Europe.
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