Tall Oil Demand Said to be Rising

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Tall Oil Demand Said to be Rising
Demand for tall oil fatty acid derivatives in lubricants is projected to benefit from global carbon-neutrality initiatives that are expected to drive further demand for products such as more environmentally friendly hydraulic fluids in heavy-duty equipment machinery. © Juan Enrique del Barrio

Rising electric vehicle sales and global carbon-neutrality initiatives are helping drive demand for use of tall oil fatty acid derivatives in the lubricants market, a tall oil fatty acid supplier executive said during an online webinar.

Ingevity held a webinar on Aug. 15 to discuss the outlook for pine chemicals and rosin industry dynamics. Charleston, South Carolina-based Ingevity supplies the lubricant and metalworking fluid markets with tall oil fatty acid and distilled tall oil, along with a variety of raw materials and performance additives. The company acquired Georgia-Pacific’s pine chemicals business – including tall oil fatty acids – in 2017. In 2020, the lubricants market accounted for 7% of Ingevity’s $392 million sales revenues.

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Rich White, Ingevity’s vice president for industrial specialties, said the use of tall oil fatty acid-based derivatives continues to grow, albeit from a small base. Their use in the lubricants market is important in automotive as well as other industrial applications, White said. “It is typically growing at a pace above [gross domestic product].”

He added that industry consolidation is boosting demand around the world for lubricant additives that are not prohibited by regulations.

“Advances in technology related to electric vehicles and regulations related to vehicle weight are increasing demand for specialized greases that impart lubricity to lighter, higher strength alloys,” White said. He added that demand for tall oil fatty acid derivatives in lubricants is also projected to benefit from global carbon-neutrality initiatives that are expected to drive further demand for high-performing greases in wind energy turbines and for more environmentally friendly hydraulic fluids in heavy-duty equipment machinery.

“Our strategy is to build from strong base and expand geographically by increasing our presence with larger, multinational companies,” White said. “We want to innovate beyond our strength in metalworking fluids and into other applications and leverage our sustainability profile within the transportation market as it electrifies.”

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