Beta napthol, which is also commonly known, as 2-napthol is a colorless, fluorescent, crystalline solid compound. Beta napthol is soluble in a range of solvents including, diethyl ether, chloroform, benzene, short alcohols and acetone. However, it is scarcely soluble in water. Chemical properties of beta napthol are comparable to phenol, and it also extrudes a mildly phenolic odor. Beta napthol has a lot of industrial applications, where manufacturing of dyes and pigments are of foremost importance. Beta napthol is also used to manufacture fragrances and as an intermediate chemical for the production of compounds such as 2-hydroxynaphthalene-3-carbonic acid, 2-phenylnaphthylamine and 2-naphthylamine. Beta napthol is also widely used to manufacture 1,1’- binapthol (binol), which is extensively used in asymmetric synthesis of reductions, epoxidations and rearrangements.
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Beta napthol is produced in high volume and the market has exhibited steady growth over the years owing to the rise in demand from end use industries. The main application of beta napthol is in the manufacturing of azo dyes, pigments, tanning agents, antiseptics, antioxidants and fluorescent whiteners. The lion’s share of the demand for beta napthol is derived from pigment and dye manufacturing industries where it is used as an intermediate chemical. Azo dyes are extensively used in textile dyeing. The pigments manufactured from beta napthol find high demand from the pharmaceutical manufacturing application. High demand growth from the end use industries augments the market for beta napthol on a global level. Beta napthols application as a precursor chemical for the manufacturing of binol, is another important driver for the market. Binols and its derivatives are one of the most widely used classes of ligands in molecular rearrangements, asymmetric synthesis and epoxidations. Demand for beta napthol from this application constitute considerable market share.
However, the global market for beta napthol is restrained by low production compared to market demand. The demand supply gap has caused the prices to shoot up in the recent times. Moreover, the global market is largely dependent of suppliers from Asia Pacific region, which make it vulnerable to price fluctuations and supply chain uncertainty. Beta napthol also posess environmental concerns and proper precautionary measures are required for the production plants.
Beta napthol has good future prospects as acceptance and demand for the material has exhibited significant rise over the past decade. Beta napthol’s use as an antiseptic is niche at present, and hold good future promise. Application of beta napthol in the manufacturing f fragrances is another important opportunity for the market. The growing rubber industry is also expected to account for considerable demand for beta naphol as it exhibits good capability as antioxidant for rubber and turpentine.
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Asia Pacific accounts for the highest demand for beta napthol, followed by North America and Europe. Asia Pacific region is also estimated to grow at the fastest pace in the near future owing to the presence of several manufacturing economies with a range of product manufacturing capability. China is by far the largest manufacturer and exporter of beta napthol in the world. However, the production capacity in China depleted considerably owing to the closure of two of its largest manufacturing capacities in the recent past. This development in China has led to inflated price of beta napthol.
Some of the major companies involved in the beta napthol market are JSC Volzhsky Orgsynthese, Sun Chemical and China Overseas Science & Trade Co., Ltd among many others.