Phosphate is a salt or ester of orthophosphoric acid. It is a polyatomic ion containing a phosphorous atom bonded to four oxygen atoms. Phosphates, with an empirical formula of PO43−, occur either in minerals or as organophosphates in organic molecules. Phosphate salts found in mines are refined and purified for various applications. Phosphate salts offer solubility, dispersion and absorption capabilities, sequestering (chelating) power, and buffering strength. Tributyl phosphate, a colorless-odorless viscous liquid, is the tributyl ester of phosphoric acid. Tributyl phosphate is also referred to as TBP and has molecular formula of C12H27O4P or (C4H9)3PO4. Industrial uses of tributyl phosphate include adhesives and sealant chemicals, flame retardants, functional fluids (closed systems and open systems), and lubricants & lubricant additives. Consumer applications include adhesives and sealants, building & construction materials, inks, toners, and colorant products.
The global tributyl phosphate market is primarily driven by the increase in demand for tributyl phosphate in various end-use industries. Tributyl phosphate is used as an extractant to produce rare earth elements such as uranium, yttrium, lanthanum, cerium, and neodymium. Demand for rare earth elements is increasing, as they are employed widely in modern technology, high-tech technology, and futuristic applications. Rise in demand for rare earth elements is anticipated to boost the global tributyl phosphate market. Demand for tributyl phosphate is estimated to increase as it is used as anti-foaming agent in detergent solutions. It is also used in mercerizing liquids to improve their wetting properties. Increase in usage of tributyl phosphate as plasticizer for cellulose esters such as nitrocellulose, cellulose acetate, vinyl resins, and plastics is anticipated to drive the global tributyl phosphate market. However, the toxic nature of tributyl phosphate and fluctuation in prices of raw material are projected to hamper the tributyl phosphate market.
Based on purity type, the tributyl phosphate market can be segmented into purity: 98% and purity: 90%. The purity: 98% segment holds key share of the global tributyl phosphate market. Tributyl phosphate with purity: 98% possesses suitable characteristics such as wettability and solvency for end-use applications.
In terms of application, the tributyl phosphate market can be divided into solvent, flame retardant, defoaming agent, plasticizer, and others. The solvent agent segment accounts for significant share of the global tributyl phosphate market. Tributyl phosphate is used as a solvent in inks, synthetic resins, adhesives, and gums. It is also employed as solvent in the extraction & mining industry.
Based on end-use industry, the tributyl phosphate market can be segregated into agriculture, textile, mining, paper making, oil & gas, automobile, and others. The mining segment is estimated to constitute major share of the global tributyl phosphate market in the near future. Tributyl phosphate is also used as defoamer additive in cement casings for oil wells, as additive for coatings and floor finishes, as carrier for fluorescent dyes, and as component of aircraft hydraulic fluid. In terms of geography, the tributyl phosphate market can be split into North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and Middle East & Africa. The market in Asia Pacific is anticipated to expand at a rapid pace due to the growth in industrialization in countries such as China, Japan, and India. North America and Europe also constitute significant share of the market owing to the increase in demand for tributyl phosphate in the mining industry in these regions.
Key players operating in the global tributyl phosphate market include Tokyo Chemical Industry Co., Ltd., Connect Chemicals GmbH, LANXESS, Guizhou Zerophos Chemical Co., Ltd, Eastman Chemical Company, and Kemcore.