Fatty acids are chemical compounds, containing long chains of hydrocarbon and terminated carboxylate group. Fatty acids are insoluble in water; however, they are highly soluble in organic solvents. Most fatty acids are derived from natural sources such as vegetable oil and coconut oil, while others are obtained from petroleum. Fatty acid derivatives are obtained from fatty acids using various chemical processes such as hydrogenation, dehydrogenation, and isomerization. Fatty acid derivatives have a variety of applications in industries. In human body, these acids produce hormone-like substance, which is responsible for regulating various activities in the body such as blood pressure, blood clotting, blood lipid levels, and inflammation response to injury infections. Fatty acid derivatives also act as intracellular messengers in the human body.
There is a growing concern for finding alternative for the products obtained from petroleum, because petroleum sources are going to exhaust after some time in future. Use of petroleum products is immensely hazardous to the environmental. Fatty acid derivatives are environment-friendly alternatives to some petroleum products. Favorable regulations is a driver for the fatty acid derivative market. Innovation and technology in the production of fatty acid derivatives are opening new horizons for its applications. Use of fatty acid derivatives as bio lubricants is projected to propel the market.
Based on chemical structure, the fatty acid derivatives market can be classified into saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. Saturated fatty acids do not contain double bond and each carbon atom in the chain is bonded to two hydrogen atom. Butanoic acid, Hexanoic acid, and Octanoic acid are some of examples of saturated fatty acid. The unsaturated fatty acid segment is further classified into monounsaturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and trans fatty acids depending upon the degree of unsaturation.
In terms of application, the fatty acid derivatives market is classified into pharmaceutical industry, personal care industry, food industry, textile industry, paint industry, rubber industry, manufacturing industry, and others. The pharmaceutical industry extensively uses lipid formulations as a carrier for active substance. Fatty acid derivatives are widely used in anticonvulsant drugs. In the personal care industry, these derivatives are used in lotions, soaps, conditioners, baby care products, and others. Amides and other nitrogenous fatty acid derivatives are used in process additives in textile, rubber, paint and coating, and printing ink industries. In the food industry, fatty acid derivatives such as polyol esters are used in specialty products such as high-energy supplements. Fatty acid derivatives are extensively used in the production of bio lubricants. Biolubricants are used in the manufacturing industry.
Based on geography, the fatty acid derivative market is segmented as Asia Pacific, North America, Europe, Middle East and Africa (MEA), and Latin America. Asia Pacific is emerging as the leading market owing to high demand for consumer products. North America and Europe are major markets for fatty acid derivatives. North America had the highest market share in the last couple of years. Middle East & Africa and Latin America are also promising markets for fatty acid derivatives owing to its application in a wide range of end-use products.
Key players operating in the fatty acid derivatives market are BASF SE, Oleo NV, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad (“KLK”), Godrej Chemical, Eastman Chemical, and Wilmar International Limited.
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