Asia Sticks with Chlorinated Paraffins

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Asia Sticks with Chlorinated Paraffins

The production of chlorinated paraffins for use in lubricant additives and metalworking fluids will grow steadily in coming years in the Asia-Pacific region and China in particular due to a lack of regulations prohibiting their use there, a recent report from Allied Market Research found.

The global market for chlorinated paraffins was valued at $1.9 million in 2015, and will grow to $2.4 million by 2022, the study found. Applications in metalworking fluids and lubricating additives dominated the market in 2015, cumulatively accounting for more than half of the total volume.

The demand for medium-chain and long-chain chlorinated paraffins in applications such as metalworking fluids and additives is relatively high, notedEswara Prasad, team lead, chemicals and materials at the Portland, Oregon, United States-based research group. A shift in manufacturing bases from developed regions tothe Asia-Pacificis expected in the near future. This is mainly attributed to the absence of stringent regulations in the latter region. Growth in the lubricants industry is the main reason for the growth of the chlorinated paraffins market in theAsia-Pacific, he said.

The U.S. and many European countries have designated some chlorinated paraffins – namely short-chain variations – as a persistent organic pollutant, Prasad and his colleague, Akhila Prasannan, an analyst for AMRs chemicals and metals division, explained to Lube Report Asia. However, there are no prominent restrictions to production and use of chlorinated paraffins throughout most of Asia.

Stringent regulations pertaining to the use of short-chain chlorinated paraffins in many regions and availability of alternatives will hamper the growth of this segment in the near future, the report pointed out. Yet short-chain chlorinated paraffins havent been completely eradicated as a result of regulations throughout the Asia-Pacific – theyre still estimated to account for one-fourth of the regional market.

Still, medium-chain chlorinated paraffins are expected to maintain dominance in the global chlorinated paraffin market during the forecast period, the report said, although long-chain variants are expected to expand at a compound annual rate of 4.3 percent in that time.

Chinais one of the prominent countries producing chlorinated paraffins, with its more than 100 producers holding nearly one-fifth of the global market in 2015, the analysts pointed out. Chinas production increased by around 12 percent in 2015 over the year before. By 2022, it will hold more than half of the totalAsia-Pacificchlorinated paraffins market.

Apart from China, India and Japan also produce chlorinated paraffins in the Asian region, Prasad added. In Japan, short-chain chlorinated paraffins are no longer manufactured, while production of medium-chain and long-chain chlorinated paraffins still continues. In India, most of the chlorinated paraffin wax manufacturers produce short-chain chlorinated paraffins. He noted that some producers in India have been ramping up their annual capacity and one producer (Manav Chemicals) will double output in an upcoming expansion.

According to our research, the regulations pertaining to bans on production of chlorinated paraffins in India and China are not yet prominent, Prasad continued. Japan, on the other hand, has implemented slightly more scrutiny. Manufacturers or importers in Japan are required to report to the government on some types of chlorinated alkanes.

Photo: RubberBall/Alamy Stock Photo

However, the possibility of upcoming restrictions or bans on the production of chlorinated paraffins in Asia-Pacific cannot be ruled out, the analyst stressed. Manufacturers are expected to be prepared to adhere to the strict regulations that are anticipated to be imposed in the future. Yet according to our primary respondents, unless and until a prominent legislative action is imposed, the production of chlorinated paraffins is expected to witness a steady growth in this region.

Prasad and Prasannan explained that, among other benefits, chlorinated paraffins are one of the lowest-cost flame retardants available worldwide. They are inherently nonflammable and are one of the numerous extreme pressure additives used to fuel the performance of metalworking fluids and cutting oils in specific applications. It is also noted that there are no real substitutes available for chlorinated paraffins for use in some metalworking operations.

Chlorinated paraffins are chlorinated alkanes that have carbon chain lengths ranging from 10 to 38 with varying degrees of chlorination. They are colorless or yellowish, viscous, dense oils. Those with long carbon chain lengths with around 70 percent or higher chlorine content are solid. They are known, AMR says, for demonstrating low-temperature strength, increasing the flexibility of materials, emancipating hydrochloric acid at high temperatures, and improving resistance to water and chemicals.

The U.S. still uses a significant volume of chlorinated paraffins, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, which has embarked on a course to ban some categories of chlorinated paraffins. Short-chain varieties are classified aspersistent and in some cases carcinogenic and their physical properties imply a high potential forbioaccumulation. A global ban on short-chain chlorinated paraffins is being considered under theStockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.

AMR’s “Chlorinated Paraffin Market Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2014-2022” report can be ordered here.