Isocyanates are highly reactive chemicals containing functional group isocyanate. On the basis of number of isocyanate group, isocyanates are classified as diisocyanate and polyisocyanate. Diisocyanate are chemical compounds with two isocyanate group such as methylene diphenyl diisocyanate, toluene diisocyanate and naphthalene diisocyanate. Polyisocyanate contain multiple isocyanate groups and are derived from diisocyanates. HDI isocyanurate and HDI biuret are among major types of polyisocyanate.
Isocyanates are manufactured by reaction of amines and phosgene. On the basis of types, isocyanates can be bifurcated into four major segments namely methylene diphenyl diisocyanate, toluene diisocyanate, aliphatic isocyanate and other segments including HDI isocyanurate, HDI biuret, etc. Methylene diphenyl isocyanate and toluene diisocyanate are among dominant types of isocyanate.
On the basis of application, isocyanates can be segregated into five major segments including rigid foam, flexible foam, insulation, paints & coating, adhesives and others including elastomers, binders, etc. Polyurethanes dominate the global demand for isocyanates and the trend is anticipated to continue during the forecast period.
Major end user industries for isocyanates include building & construction, automotives, health care and aerospace among others. Isocyanates are used in the production of insulating materials and paints in the building & construction and automotive industry. Building & construction followed by automotives dominate the global demand for isocyanate.
Increasing awareness of energy crisis leading to increasing demand for energy efficient structures coupled with government regulations and incentives to promote energy efficient structures are among major factors driving demand for isocyanate. Increasing demand for spray polyurethane foam is anticipated to drive demand for methylene diphenyl isocyanate and toluene diisocyanate.
Phosgene used in the production of isocyanates is hazardous to the eco system and pose severe health hazards to human health. Moreover, isocyanates pose severe occupational health hazards including skin irritation, wheezing, cough and prolonged exposure to isocyanates can also lead to asthma. The environmental and health hazards associated with isocyanates are among major factors restraining isocyanates market growth.
Moreover crude oil is employed in the production of certain isocyanates such as toluene diisocyanate. Therefore the market is characterized by volatility in raw material pricing which also has been restraining market growth for isocyanates. Significant researches have been done to produce isocyanate from bio based sources. High efficiency bio based isocyanates are anticipated to offer huge growth opportunity in the market.
Asia Pacific dominates the global isocyanate market and the trend is anticipated to continue for a foreseeable future. Demand for isocyanates is profoundly dependent on macro economic factors such as GDP growth and purchase power parity of a region.
Therefore, owing to high GDP growth in the emerging economies of India and China, Asia Pacific is anticipated to be the fastest growing region for isocyanate market. Demand for isocyanate in North America and Europe is expected to grow at sluggish rate primarily owing to increasing number of stringent environmental regulations. Spray polyurethane foam is expected to be among the fastest growing end user segment in North America and Europe.
Isocyanates market is consolidated and dominated by few major players. The industry is characterized by high degree of competition and raw material procurement is among critical success factor for the industry. Major players in the isocyanate market include Bayer MaterialScience, The Dow Chemical Company, Yantai Sanjiang Chemical Industry Material Co., Ltd., Anderson Development Co. and Huntsman Corporation among others.