Methylene chloride also known as dichloromethane (DCM) is manufactured by reacting methane or methyl chloride with chlorine gas in a distillation process. Methylene chloride is a colorless, volatile liquid with a slight sweet odor. The major application of methylene chloride is as a solvent in various end-user industries such as paints & coatings, pharmaceuticals, textiles, adhesives & sealants and aerosols among others. Methylene chloride is used in paint stripper and degreasers. It is also used in beverage industry to decaffeinate tea and coffee. In addition, methylene chloride finds applications in polyurethane foams as a blowing agent and metal cleaning applications. Moreover, methylene chloride is used in manufacturing of hydroflorocarbons such as HFC-32.
The market for methylene chloride was mainly driven by high demand from paints & coatings market. Methylene chloride is used as solvent in paints & coatings and huge demand from paints and coatings industry is driving the market in past few years. Other end-user industries such as adhesives & sealants, textiles and pharmaceutical are expected to exhibit steady demand for methylene chloride in upcoming years. Increasing demand from fluorocarbons is likely to provide bigger opportunities for the methylene chloride market in next few years. Increasing demand for HFC-32 from end-user industries is likely to offer more demand for methylene chloride in years to come. However, stringent government regulations faced by methylene chloride industry due to being considered as potential carcinogenic chemical is anticipated to hider the growth of the market in next few years.
In terms of demand, Asia Pacific was the leading region in methylene chloride market. Asia Pacific is expected to be one of the fastest growing markets for methylene chloride due to increasing demand for solvents from various end-user industries. China exhibited the highest demand for methylene chloride in Asia Pacific region in 2012. The market for methylene chloride was mainly driven by increasing demand for methylene chloride in paint stripper and in degreaser applications. India and Pakistan accounted for second-largest market share for methylene chloride in Asia Pacific region. India is likely to be the fastest growing country for methylene chloride in this region. However, other regions such as Japan, South Korea and Southeast Asia is likely to exhibit stable demand for methylene chloride in next few years to come. Asia Pacific was followed by Europe. Huge demand for methylene chloride from paints and coatings industry was the major factor for driving the market in this region. UK dominated the demand for methylene chloride in Europe. However, other countries such as Germany, France, the Netherlands and Italy are likely to increase its demand for methylene chloride in upcoming years. However, environmental regulations related to methylene chloride are anticipated to stagnant the growth of the market in this region. In 2012, North America had the third-largest demand for methylene chloride. The U.S. had the largest demand for methylene chloride owing to huge demand from end-user industries such as paints & coatings, adhesives and pharmaceuticals among others. Rest of the World market is forecasted to show positive outlook for methylene chloride market in near future. Africa and the Middle East dominated the market for methylene chloride in this region.
Some of the key manufacturers in the methylene chloride market are 3M, AkzoNobel N.V., Gujarat Alkalies and Chemicals Ltd., INEOS, Occidental Chemicals Corporation, PPG Industries, Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., Ltd. and The Dow Chemical Company among others.
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