Albany, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/12/2018 -- Itaconic acid, also known as methyl succinic acid, is one of the important bio-based platform chemicals. Itaconic acid was recognized as one of the twelve promising chemicals obtained from biomass by the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) in 2004. The itaconic acid market is niche in nature due to its limited consumption in various end-user industries on account of the large availability of substitutes. The cost of production is an important factor determining the pricing of itaconic acid. Currently, the price of itaconic acid is high which has resulted in failure to replace the demand for its substitutes in several application industries including synthetic latex, unsaturated polyester resins, detergents, superabsorbent polymers, etc. However, with ongoing developments and increasing production scale-up, the price of itaconic acid is expected to decline significantly in the near future. As a result, the use of itaconic acid in several application industries is projected to increase during the forecast period from 2015 to 2023.
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Superabsorbent polymers (SAP) is one of the key applications of itaconic acid. Itaconic acid offers vast potential to replace the petroleum-based acrylic acid used in the production of SAP. It is also emerging as a prospective replacement for maleic anhydride in the production of unsaturated polyester resins (UPR) since it offers characteristics similar to maleic anhydride. Rising demand for UPR to produce fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composites, artificial stones, pipes, electrical cabinets, and laminating resins is expected to boost the demand for itaconic acid. However, the production cost of itaconic acid is exorbitant, which is expected to impede market growth for the period from 2015 to 2023.
Limited exploration and narrow potential of itaconic acid as drop-in replacement in application industries hampers its market growth. This can be primarily ascribed to the limited exploration of technology for the manufacture of itaconic acid. Moreover, itaconic acid offers limited potential as a drop-in replacement in several application industries such as UPR, detergents, and SAP. Adhesives and coatings applications are expected to provide significant growth opportunities in the global itaconic acid market. Itaconic acid is used to prepare resins that find extensive application in emulsion coatings, coatings for car, leather coatings, refrigerators, and other electrical appliances.
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Synthetic latex, unsaturated polyester resins (UPR), detergents, superabsorbent polymers (SAP), and others including lubricant oils, adhesives, paints and coatings, pharmaceuticals, herbicides, and acrylic fiber are the major applications in the global itaconic acid market. Synthetic latex is the largest application segment that held a share of 55.6% in 2014. Itaconic acid is used as a cross-linking agent in the copolymerization of styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) latex. Detergents, which is another application segment of the itaconic acid market, is expected to witness the slowest growth rate for the period from 2015 to 2023. Poly itaconic acid (a derivative of itaconic acid) has the potential to replace amino carboxylate dispersant agents in detergents. However, availability of several other bio-based substitutes hampers the growth of itaconic acid in detergents application.
Asia Pacific dominated the global itaconic acid market both in terms of volume and revenue in 2014. It held a share of more than 50% of the global itaconic acid market in 2014. High concentration of production capacities due to the shutdown of the manufacturing plants of itaconic acid in other parts of the world has led to this growth. The Middle East and Africa region is expected to witness below average growth rates as a result of economic transition; however, the region is expected to witness high growth potential for the period from 2015 to 2023.
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Latin America is projected to witness a moderate growth rate as demand for itaconic acid is likely to be significant in Brazil, Venezuela, and Argentina. North America is projected to witness a sluggish growth rate during the forecast period due to the closure of manufacturing facilities as a result of limited demand from end-user industries. Similarly, Rhodia has stopped production in France as a result of low volume demand for itaconic acid in the region.