Linear alkyl benzene is manufactured from oligomerization of ethylene and is a colorless organic compound. Kerosene is the major raw material for the LAB production and is formed as a co-product during kerosene dehydrogenation process. Most significant importance of the product is biodegradability. The product is mainly used to produce linear alkylbenzene sulfonate (LAS). LAS are primarily used to manufacture detergents. LAB in its original form is also used to produce detergents. LAB comprises optimum light yield, low radioactive impurities, high flash points and optical transparency. On account of high flash point the product is also used to produce neutrino detectors. Several other LAB applications include emulsion polymerization, ink solvents, agriculture herbicides, paint industry, as wetting agent and electric cable oil.
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Biodegradable nature of LAB is the most important factor to drive the global market over the next five years. Several LAB derivatives such as LAS also comprise biodegradability property which enhances their applications in various end-use industries and to produce surfactants. LAB is prominently used to manufacture house hold cleaners, light-duty and heavy laundry liquids, laundry powders, industrial cleaners and light-duty dish washing liquids. Increasing demand for clean in place materials in several industries is expected to foster the LAB market growth over the forecast period. Technology advancement in developing new applications is anticipated to drive the market growth over the foreseeable future.
LAB market is classified into application segments as heavy duty laundry liquid, laundry powder, light duty dish washer, industrial cleaners and house hold cleaners. Heavy duty laundry liquid was leading the LAB market in terms of revenue as well as volume. Industrial cleaners followed heavy duty laundry liquid and contributed to second major market segment. House hold application market is anticipated to be the fastest growing market over the forecast period owing to increasing awareness towards cleaning and health aspects. Rapid industrialization in emerging economies is projected to bolster the market growth over the foreseeable future.
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Asia Pacific dominated the linear alkyl benzene market in terms of both revenue and volume in 2013 and is also expected to witness the fastest growth over the next five years. Increasing consumption and growing industries in emerging countries in the region such as China and India are the major factors to drive the growth. North America and Europe are anticipated to witness sluggish growth in the near future on account of declination in application market. However, the region is expected to sustain the market owing to favorable government regulations regarding biodegradable products usage.
Global linear alkyl benzene market is fairly fragmented due to presence of large number of companies. Major market players include Chevron Phillips, Sasol, Unggul Indah Cahaya, Reliance Aromatic and Petrochemicals Pvt. Ltd., ISU Chemicals, Honeywell and Huntsman Corporation, Fushun Petrochemicals, Deten Quimica and Jintung Petrochemical. Sasol contributed largest market share in terms of revenue and volumes in 2013.
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