Butyraldehyde is a colorless, liquid with a pungent odour. It is produced by reacting propylene and synthesis gas over a catalyst (mostly rhodium). It is highly soluble in most common organic solvents, but scantly soluble in water. Butyraldehyde which is also known as butanal is used as a raw material for downstream organic synthesis of products such as n-butanol, trimethylolpropane, 2-ethylhexanoic acid, and polyvinyl buthylal. These chemicals are in turn used to produce synthetic resins, rubber accelerators, pharmaceuticals, perfumes, crop protection chemicals, and pesticides among others.
Butyraldehyde is mostly used as a raw material for producing n-butanol, which is used to manufacture pharmaceuticals, polymers, and pyroxilin plastics. It is also used as diluents in melamine-formaldehyde and urea-formaldehyde resins production. The second largest application for butyraldehyde is production of 2-ethylhexanol, which is used in DEHP, a plastic softener phthalate. Trimethylolpropane, polyvinyl butyral and 2-EH acid accounts for low consumption of butanal.
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Due to the varied applications of the downstream derivatives of butyraldehyde, it enjoys high demand from various end use industries. Pharmaceutical and plastic industry accounts for the maximum demand of butyraldehyde. Its use as a pesticide and crop protection chemical also bodes well for butyraldehyde market. However, it poses health hazard as well as environmental threats through direct contact is expected to hamper the market growth during the forecast period. Moreover, DEHP which is one of the main consumers of butyraldehyde, has been listed by REACH as one of the most harmful chemicals to human, and is banned in Europe. In the U.S there are strict regulations regarding the manufacture, storage, and transportation of butyraldehyde. The North American market is the largest consumer of butyraldehyde, followed by Asia Pacific.
Multinational chemical companies such as BASF SE, Dow Chemicals, Asahi-Kasei and Eastman Chemical Company are the major players in the market.
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