As the economy goes, so do solvents
US demand for solvents will rise at a modest pace through 2020, reflecting continued economic growth, and in particular, ongoing healthy increases in construction activity. Strength in both nonresidential and residential building construction will stimulate demand for construction-related materials, such as paint and coatings and adhesives and sealants. Although paint and coatings has experienced a shift to water-based formulations in recent years, as a result of environmental regulations concerning volatile organic compounds (VOC) and hazardous air pollutants (HAP), it will continue to be the largest market for solvents.
Shift to cleaner and green solvents continues
In a number of markets, solvent users will continue to transition toward green and less hazardous solvents that reduce emissions and lower toxicity. In many cases this shift is motivated by the need to meet tightening environmental regulations that address VOC and HAP emissions. However, public perception and consumer preference will also favor green products derived from renewable resources such as plant-based alcohols, soy methyl ester, and terpenes. Solvent users have responded to the preference for sustainably sourced, environmentally friendly products by the development and commercialization of not only all-new bio-based solvents, but also green versions of existing alcohols and glycols.
Oil and gas industry’s effect on solvents
The rapid expansion of US petroleum and natural gas production from 2010 to 2015 has helped drive solvent demand overall. Solvents are finding increasing use in oil drilling applications and in midstream equipment. Concerns about the impact of chemicals used in oil and natural gas production on wastewater have also supported demand for green solvents like soybean oil-based methyl esters and terpenes. Though solvent use by the oil and natural gas industry contracted in 2015 as the collapse in oil and natural gas prices reduced exploration activity, solvent consumption is expected to expand from the weak 2015 base going forward. The improving crude oil and natural gas prices, however, will also impact the competitiveness of conventional solvents, which had benefited in 2015 and 2016 from a better cost position compared to green solvents.
Solvents presents historical demand data (2005, 2010 and 2015) plus forecasts (2020 and 2025) by product (alcohols, hydrocarbons, ketones, glycols, esters, chlorinated solvents, soy oil and derivatives, other) and market (printing inks, paint and coatings, cosmetics and toiletries, adhesives and sealants, cleaning products, construction, other). This study also considers market environment factors, assesses industry structure, evaluates company market share and profiles 38 US industry competitors.
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