Linear alpha olefins are alkenes with a chemical formula CXH2x and are distinguished from other olefins by the double bond formed at the alpha position. As a result of this double bond, they are used for manufacturing a variety of polymers and synthetic lubricants. Some of the common types of linear alpha olefins are 1-Hexene, 1-Octene, 1 -Butene and 1-Decene. They can be found in different forms such as solids, large crystals, liquid, dry powder and gas vapours, depending on the length of their carbon chain. A new research report by IMARC Group, titled “Linear Alpha Olefins Market: Global Industry Trends, Share, Size, Growth, Opportunity and Forecast 2018-2023”, estimates that the market was worth around US$ 8 Billion in 2017, registering a CAGR of around 5% during the year 2010-2017. The report further anticipates the market to reach US$ 12 Billion by 2023, at a projected CAGR of nearly 7% over the forecast period.
Global Linear Alpha Olefins Market Drivers/Constraints:
- Linear alpha olefins are versatile in nature which makes them suitable for applications in diverse industries. They are extensively used as co-monomers for manufacturing plastics, such as polyethylene and polypropylene, which creates an attractive market for linear alpha olefins.
- These olefins are necessary for the production of other industrial chemical products such as poly alpha olefins, drag reducing agents, plasticisers, detergent alcohols, alkenyl succinic anhydrides, etc. These products are further used in the cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, automotive, coatings and paper, consumer goods, and chemical industries.
- Rising environmental concern towards harmful gas emissions from automobiles has led the governments to encourage the usage of synthetic lubricants. This has further stimulated the consumption of linear alpha olefins which are used in the production of synthetic lubricants.
- Factors that hamper the market growth include volatility in the prices of the raw materials, high initial investments and stringent environmental regulations. Besides, the presence of alternatives such as tungsten disulphide is another restraint for the market growth.
Product Type Insights:
On the basis of product type, there are a large number of linear alpha olefins available in the market including butene, hexene, octene, decene, dodecene, tetradecene, hexadecene, octadecene, eicosene, C22 and C24+.
Based on end-use, the polyethylene industry represents the largest and fastest growing consumer of linear alpha olefins, accounting for the majority of the total global consumption. The fast growth of the polyethylene industry can be attributed to an increasing demand for plastics in the automotive and consumer goods industries. Some of the other major consumers of linear alpha olefins are detergent alcohols and lubricants.
On a geographical front, North America represents both the world’s largest producer and consumer of linear alpha olefins on account of high demand from the key end-use industries in the region. Other major regions include Western Europe, Middle East and South Africa.
The market is highly concentrated with the presence of a small number of players who compete in terms of prices and quality. The manufacturers are trying to widen their regional presence and product portfolio so as to increase their profitability. Some of the leading players operating in the market are:
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