Polypropylene Catalyst Market Sees Strong Growth

  • The polypropylene catalyst market in the Asia Pacific is projected to grow fastest.
  • Ziegler-Natta catalyst type is projected to lead the polypropylene catalyst market.
  • The gas phase manufacturing process of the polypropylene catalyst market is projected to grow fastest.

The Polypropylene Catalyst Market is projected to grow from an estimated $1.2 billion in 2019 to $1.9 billion by 2027. Key companies in the Polypropylene Catalyst Market include LyondellBasell Industries (The Netherlands), Clariant (Switzerland), Mitsui Chemicals (Japan), W.R. Grace & Co., (US), and China Petrochemical (China).

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How availability of alternative raw materials for PP production is a key opportunity?

Crude oil is the primary raw material source for PP The recent advancements in the shale gas sector have resulted in a shift from fuel-based petrochemicals to shale gas-based raw materials in the past few years. Coal-based raw materials are also being used by China on a large scale with almost all the raw materials derived from coal.

Shale gas and coal are becoming cheaper than the fuels that are currently in use, which will increase the profitability of manufacturers using these materials for PP production. Therefore, the lowering costs of these raw materials will play a crucial role in the production of PP, which will, consequently, fuel the demand for PP Catalyst.

The ensuing increase in foreign investments and rise in the number of new manufacturing establishments are expected to witness the emergence of the Asia Pacific as a prime driver of growth of the polypropylene catalyst market.

Ziegler-Natta catalyst type is projected to lead the polypropylene catalyst market during the forecast period

Ziegler-Natta is the most commonly used catalyst type for the manufacture of polypropylene, globally. The Ziegler-Natta catalyst provides excellent morphology control during polymerization. This catalyst has been commercially proven in polypropylene production lines including the major bulk and gas phase process.

The Ziegler-Natta catalyst has propelled the growth of the PP industry by enabling the inexpensive and easily controlled production of polypropylene. Today, more than half of the total polypropylene produced worldwide uses the Ziegler-Natta catalyst type.

The gas phase manufacturing process of the polypropylene catalyst market is projected to grow fastest during the forecast period

The gas phase manufacturing process is projected to grow fastest during the forecast period. This process is similar to the bulk process as far as monomers are concerned. However, it differs from the conventional bulk process, as in this case, polymerization is carried out in propylene gas rather than in liquefied propylene.

This process produces high-quality (99% isotactic) PP with minimal residual (atactic) PP. This phase does not require the manual removal of catalyst residues or atactic propylene. It is typically a third-generation manufacturing process.  Cost-effectiveness and high isotacticity of the polypropylene molecule are the key factors driving the market for the gas phase process.

In 2003, LyondellBasell first developed and commercialized 4, di-ether (PP with narrow molecular weight distribution and succinate (PP with broad MWD) fifth-generation, phthalate-free, ZN PP Catalyst that have improved properties than that of the previous phthalate generation.

The polypropylene catalyst market in the Asia Pacific is projected to grow fastest during the forecast period

The polypropylene catalyst market in the Asia Pacific is projected to grow fastest during the forecast period. China is the largest market for the polypropylene catalyst in the Asia Pacific. The ensuing increase in foreign investments and rise in the number of new manufacturing establishments are expected to witness the emergence of the Asia Pacific as a prime driver of growth of the polypropylene catalyst market.

Why development of cost-effective and hazard-free catalysts with improved properties poses a major challenge?

Phthalate-based ZN catalysts are potentially harmful to the environment and, hence, regulated by REACH. In 2003, LyondellBasell first developed and commercialized 4, di-ether (PP with narrow molecular weight distribution and succinate (PP with broad MWD) fifth-generation, phthalate-free, ZN PP Catalyst that have improved properties than that of the previous phthalate generation. Phthalate-based systems can be considered as a family of multipurpose catalysts, whereas both di-ether and succinate-based systems are considered as specialty drop-in catalysts.

However, the recent initiative undertaken by LyondellBasell to commercialize mixed di-ether/succinate catalysts has helped in launching a multi-purpose high-performance fifth-generation, phthalate-free catalyst line. Currently, most of the Ziegler-Natta PP. catalysts consumed are fourth-generation catalysts, and the consumption of fifth-generation catalysts using non-phthalate internal components are still limited. However, with the stringent regulations set by REACH and the increasing pressure from purchasers, ZN catalyst offerings from various suppliers are expected to include more phthalate-free catalysts in the short-medium term.

Although metallocene catalysts offer better properties, currently their demand is less owing to the lack of cost competitiveness. With the recent developments, metallocene catalyst prices are expected to be competitive with other catalyst systems in the long term, and this will increase the demand for metallocene catalyst and hence will drive the PP Catalyst market.

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prajakta jadhav

Currently working as Sr Web Marketing Analyst at Markets and Markets.

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