Industry Insights

Hydroxypropyl cellulose (HPC) is a cellulose derivative which possesses both water solubility as well as organic solubility. It is primarily used as a lubricant and topical ophthalmic protectant.  Hydroxypropyl cellulose is a type of cellulose ether and is manufactured by the chemical modification of cellulose.  Cellulose ethers are mainly used as thickeners, stabilizers and viscosity agents in several industries such as pharmaceuticals, food, personal care, construction, oil field chemicals, textiles, adhesives and paper.  Hydroxypropyl Cellulose, in particular, is used in the manufacturing of adhesives, aerosols, binders, coatings, cosmetics, encapsulation, extrusion products, food, molding, paint removers, paper, pharmaceuticals, plastic foams, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) processing, printing inks and other miscellaneous applications. The growing demand from end-user industries such as plastics, personal care, chemicals, textiles and adhesives is expected to drive the global hydroxypropyl cellulose market in the years to come.

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The growing demand for hydroxypropyl cellulose from several industries can be attributed to its highly useful properties. Hydroxypropyl cellulose exhibit characteristics such as thickener, thermoplastic, stabilizer, foaming aid, film-former, binder, water, alcohol and solvent soluble, oil, fat and alcohol barrier, low residue, glaze, heat sealable, emulsion stabilizer, pH insensitive, acid resistant and suspending agent. Owing to such numerous properties, hydroxypropyl cellulose is widely used in the production of diverse range of application products such as whipped toppings, electrical insulators, ceramic glazes, matrix boards, alcohol core wash compounds, edible food coatings, film coatings, paper and textile coatings, hair styling aids, perfumes and colognes, alcohol based preparations, shampoos, lotions, emulsion creams, profiles and filaments, films and sheets, confectionaries, fabricated food products, compression, injection and blow molding, tablet binder and coating, foamed sheet, tube and road, printing inks, cleaners and polishes. The rising demand from all such applications is anticipated to drive the global hydroxypropyl cellulose market in the next few years.
As far as regional markets are concerned, Asia Pacific is predicted to emerge as the fastest growing market for hydroxypropyl cellulose in the coming years. The main reason for this is the shifting of manufacturing base of FMCG and other consumer goods to China, India and South East Asian countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. In addition, the population in these countries is rising at a rapid rate which is resulting in an increase in the overall customer base. Also, due to the economic development of these countries, the disposable income and the purchase parity of the consumers is rising which is ultimately increasing the number of potential customers across these emerging nations.
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Moreover, the countries such as Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, Algeria, Sudan, Nigeria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, Yemen, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and Israel are rapidly coming up with robust manufacturing infrastructure. Furthermore, the U.S. and European economies are showing strong signs of recovery after a severe economic turmoil. All these factors are ultimately creating a positive outlook for the global economy. Subsequently, the demand for hydroxypropyl cellulose in diverse application areas is expected to rise in the near future and hence, the global hydroxypropyl cellulose market is predicted to record a strong growth in the next six years.
Some of the major companies operating in the global hydroxypropyl cellulose market are Ashland Inc., Akzo Nobel N.V., CP Kelco, Daicel Corporation, The Dow Chemical Company, Lamberti S.p.A, Penn Carbose Inc., Sichem LLC, SINOCMC Co. Ltd. and Yixing Tongda Chemical Co. Ltd.

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