Demand from Several Industrial Applications
Linear alpha olefins are alkenes that have a terminal double bond of carbon atoms. These double atoms make these olefins useful in a large number of applications and can undergo all the reactions of an olefin including polymerization, metathesis, and others. Linear alpha olefins are used to manufacture products such as synthetic lubricants, polymers (HPDE and LLDPE), oilfield chemicals, synthetic acids, additives, and detergent alcohols. Most of the linear alpha olefins are produced by ethylene oligomerization. These oligomerizations are used for production of higher olefins, which are used in the preparation of oil chemicals, lubricants, and for fusion of linear-low density polyethylene.
Application Areas of Linear Alpha Olefins
Linear alpha olefins are extremely diverse, as they are known for high purity and are used in a range of applications, including industrial oils, high-performing engine, waxes, plastic packaging, synthetic lubricants, and as constructing blocks for surfactants and other special chemicals. Linear alpha olefins can provide unlimited options for chemical development and can be also tailored to meet individual specifications.
Following are the uses of linear alpha olefins in various applications:
Co-monomers such as 1-butene, 1-hexene, and 1-octene are used as strength modifiers for specialized plastic products.
- Synthetic Lubricants
Linear alpha olefins are used as a feedstock poly-alpha-olefin (PAO) for synthetic lubricants.
Linear alpha olefins are typically functionalized for use in surfactants such as detergent alcohols, alkyl-amine oxides, and olefin sulfonates.
- Drilling Fluids
Linear alpha olefins are isomerized into ecological offshore drilling fluids. The linear alpha olefins are also changed from one isomer to another in raw materials for paper-sizing.
- Lube Additives & Functional fluids
In additives, linear alpha olefins are used as anti-corrosion additives and detergents and lubricants or functional fluids.
- Synthetic Waxes
In this application linear alpha olefins are used in candles, plastic processing, and several other specialty uses such as crayons, color, inks, and cosmetic emollients.
Future of Linear Alpha Olefins Industry
Global market for linear alpha olefins is projected to witness a significant growth during the forecast period from 2019 to 2026. Several applications of linear alpha olefins such as polyethylene, synthetic lubricants, and detergent alcohols are boosting the market growth.
Volatility in the raw material prices coupled with severe environmental regulations is expected to remain a main challenge for market players. Apart from this, moderately high initial investments can also negatively affect the market growth. Advancements in nanoparticle-based nutrients and the existence of alternatives such as tungsten disulphide are the key restraints for the growth of linear alpha olefins market. However, bio-based alpha olefins are in the R&D phase, they will possibly gain momentum in the coming years, which will create investment opportunities for the manufacturers.
Rising demand of linear alpha olefins from the automobile sector and increasing polyethylene in end use industries are giving significant boost to the growth of the global market in the coming future. According to the statistics provided by a research report from Research Dive, the global linear alpha olefins market is expected to grow at 4.9% CAGR, and will reach up to $11,747.8 million by the end of 2026. The report highlights the prominent players operating in the market. Some of them are Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC, Qatar Chemical Company Ltd (Q-chem)., Mitsubishi Chemical Corp, INEOS Oligomers, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Petrochemicals Sdn. Bhd, Royal Dutch Shell, JAM Petrochemicals Company, Evonik Industries, and others. These players are initiating various steps to strengthen their presence such as merger & acquisitions, new product development, and R&D activities.
On the other hand, the rising focus of leading companies to reduce the cost of supply and demand will fuel the growth of the linear alpha olefins market. Thus, it is clear that be it automobile, petrochemical, or any other industry in which the alpha olefins are used, the applications of linear alpha olefins will provide momentous investment opportunities in the coming future.