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Product profile - Acrylamide

Introduction

Acrylamide is an odorless and transparent liquid solution, prepared by hydrolysis of acrylonitrile (ACN) in the presence of industrial enzyme nitrile hydratase. Acrylamide is mainly used in the industrial processes to synthesise polyacrylamides which are used as water soluble thickeners. The use of acrylamide for production of polyacrylamide accounts for about 90 % of its total use. It is found in tobacco smoke. Acrylamide is formed during cooking foods which are high in carbohydrates.

Acrylamide Applications

Acrylamide is majorly used to synthesize acrylamide based polymers which finds many uses such as water soluble thickeners and flocculants for waste water treatment, polymers for enhanced oil recovery (EOR), shale gas extraction, shale strengthening, binders and retention aids for paper and also in making waterproofing chemicals, coating and paint emulsions, ore processing, sugar manufacturing, cosmetics etc.

It is used as a superabsorbent in medical products such as disposable diapers and also in agricultural products. Small amounts of acrylamide are used in adhesives, binders for seed coatings and printing ink emulsion. Also, acrylamide is used in textile printing paste, and water retention aids. Acrylamide also finds use in the making paper, plastics and dyes.

Acrylamide Global Scenario

Global production for acrylamide is ~2.0 mn MTPA in CY16 (10,50,000 MTPA of pure product). Current size of the global market is pegged at ~1.9 mn MT.

Acrylamide Global Players

SNF Floerger (SNF), France; and Mitsui Chemicals Inc, Japan, Ashland Chemicals, CNPC China, Kemira-Finland, are some of the major global players operating in the acrylamide market.

Global consumption of Acrylamide

Global acrylamide consumption is estimated at around 9.56 lakh tons. China is the largest consumer of acrylamide with 440,000 MTPA followed by Western Europe (175,000 MTPA), USA (162,000 MTPA), Japan (43,000 MTPA) and Asia/ME (26,000 MTPA).

Table shows global consumption of Acrylamide

Figure shows world consumption of acrylamide by region

Acrylamide Regional Insights

China accounts for 46% of global acrylamide consumption in 2014 and will continue to be the leading acrylamide consumer during the forecast period. The fastest growth will occur in the water treatment industry as strict environmental standards are implemented and sewage treatment increases. China also has increasing enhanced oil recovery needs resulting in increasing consumption of acrylamide in its oil fields.

The U.S. acrylamide market (accounting for 18% of the world total) will experience strong growth in petroleum processes such as fracking and in EOR (from a smaller base) and steady growth in water management uses as a result of environmental regulations. Acrylamide consumption will also grow in mining processes, but use in paper is expected to have limited growth.

Western Europe accounts for 17% of global acrylamide consumption. The majority of this use is in water treatment, which is expected to have moderate growth. Acrylamide demand in petroleum production will increase greatly, but from a small base. Acrylamide use in the paper and mining sectors is expected to decline in this region.

In Other Asia, only moderate growth is expected; most polyacrylamide in this region is used for water treatment and paper production.

Japanese consumption of acrylamide accounts for about 6% of the world total; the pulp and paper market accounts for the largest share of Japanese consumption, followed by water treatment. No growth is expected in the paper segment, while only very slight growth is anticipated in the water management industry. Only a negligible amount of oil is produced; thus there is only negligible use in oil and gas markets.

In Central and South America, acrylamide consumption is mainly for water treatment, mineral processing, paper and other uses. Relatively strong growth is expected in this region, although the oil and gas sector has been slower to develop. Both Canada and Mexico have small acrylamide consumption levels with limited growth.

The acrylamide business is global, as manufacturers locate world-scale production facilities closer to the sites of consumption and exploit lower-cost production locations and process efficiencies through new technology.

Global Acrylamide Market by Enduse

Overall, water management is the largest use for acrylamide globally. It accounts for about 37% of global acrylamide consumption. This is followed by the oil and gas sector, which includes use in enhanced oil recovery (EOR) (26%) and other uses in petroleum production such as hydraulic fracturing. Acrylamide use in pulp and paper manufacture also accounts for a share of the market at about 18% of global consumption. Water management is the leading segment in the United States and Western Europe, while paper uses dominate the Japanese market. EOR will continue to be the largest segment in the Chinese market, followed by water treatment.

Table shows application wise global Acrylamide market (As polymers)

Global Demand Outlook

Acrylamide's growth prospects largely depends on the growth of acrylamide polymers (polyacrylamide industry), which is expected to grow globally at a CAGR of ~8%, during next five years, on the back of healthy growth in its primary markets such as water treatment and EOR. Importantly, domestic growth in India has been much higher due to steep increase in demand for acrylamide for the production of ceramic binders and water treatment polymers, and is slated to grow further with the exponential increase in demand for polyacrylamides used in the oil sector for EOR applications.

Global Acrylamide Market: Trends and Opportunities

In the next few years, the global acrylamide market is anticipated to invite a sturdy growth with the expansion of oil and gas activities coupled with the burgeoning demand for wastewater and water treatments. In respect of both revenue and volume, wastewater and water treatment is expected to be a larger segment of the global acrylamide market by application. Moreover, there are some strict laws pertaining to wastewater treatment penned down by the governments of developed regions, which makes the usage of acrylamide altogether more important. Across the globe, the extensive application of acrylamide for treating wastewater is predicted to lay a solid foundation of growth for the global acrylamide market.

Unconventional gases can be recovered economically with the use of acrylamide via hydraulic fracturing. With the U.S. planning to invest around US$71.1 bn for new shale gas capacities by 2020, the demand in the global acrylamide market could propel at a telling degree with the need to perform hydraulic fracturing operations. Although Europe holds a notable number of shale gas reserves, there are still a myriad of them present throughout the globe. With fracking applications rising internationally, the consumption in the global acrylamide market is envisaged to inflate exceptionally, supported by the upsurge in shale gas extraction activities.

Acrylamide Drivers and restraints

Acrylamide is highly used in water treatment industry. Therefore, the global acrylamide market is driven by the stringent environmental regulations pertaining to dispose of sewage water. The demand for acrylamides from the oil and gas sector is also high due to enhanced oil recovery needs. The increasing petroleum industry is also expected to be a major driver for the growth of global acrylamide market in the forecast period. The growing food and beverage industry is also anticipated to fuel the global acrylamide market in the near future. The changing lifestyle of people coupled with increasing use of convenience food products is also expected to be a major factor driving the global acrylamide market in the upcoming years. Moreover, the growing awareness among the consumers about proper hygiene is increasing the demand for personal care products, thus driving the medical sector. The growing medical segment is expected to show a positive impact on the growing acrylamide market. The growth in the adhesives and sealants industry is also anticipated to fuel the demand for acrylamide, thus driving the global acrylamide market. However, the impact of adhesives and sealants industry on the global acrylamide market is expected to be stagnant in the coming years. Exposure to acrylamide takes place through acquaintance to cooked foods and tobacco smoke. The negative health effects pertaining to this exposure is projected to be a major restraining factor for the global acrylamide market.

Indian Market

Indian acrylamide market is estimated at ~17,000 MTPA (at 50% purity) which was met largely through imports from China until entry of Black Rose Industries Ltd. in the year 2013.

Blackrose Industries Ltd. manufactures acrylamide through its state‐of‐the‐art manufacturing facility located at Jhagadia, Gujarat, having an installed capacity of 10,000 MTPA (at 50% purity). Commercial operations started in September 2013 and this is South Asia’s first and only acrylamide manufacturing plant, producing and supplying liquid acrylamide under the brand name BRILMIDE®

Black Rose Industries Ltd. has sourced technology from Mitsui Chemicals under an exclusive technology license agreement. Globally, the demand for acrylamide is in liquid form, whereas Indian market was largely consuming solid acrylamide. Now with the entry of BRIL’s liquid acrylamide, Indian market is shifting to consume liquid acrylamide.

Mitsui technology licensed to BRIL is highly efficient and provides high purity acrylamide through an environmentally friendly zero discharge process. Its considered superior to technologies available in other parts of the world.

Acrylamide Imports

India imports around 40% of its requirement while 60% is being met locally by Black Rose Industries Ltd. Imports in the year 2016-17 are estimated at 3,200 tons.(98% basis)

Acrylamide Consumption Pattern in India

In India acrylamide in liquid form is being consumed mainly in the water management sector. This sector alone consumes around 70% of the total consumption. This is followed by Binders/Emulsions Sector (Coatings and Ceramic Industry) consuming around 15% of the total market and the balance 15% is being shared by the paper, printing, dyeing, mining and other uses.

Acrylamide Demand Outlook in India

Water Management, Coatings and the Ceramic industries will continue to dominate the usage pattern in India as there no major presence in the Oil & Gas Sector. According to the Industry Sources the demand is expected to grow at around 20% per annum in the next five years. At this rate the demand can be expected at around 42,000-tons on 50% basis and 21,000-tons on 100% basis. Current capacity is 10,000-tons on 100% basis indicating good scope for investment in expansion as well as new capacity.**

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