Cyclohexane is a cycloalkane which is manufactured by catalytic hydrogenation of benzene. Cyclohexane is insoluble in water and colorless in nature. It is a key element employed in the manufacturing of caprolactum and adipic acid, which are intermediates for manufacturing nylon. Cyclohexane is used to produce cyclohexanone and cyclohexanol for precursor usage. There are two processes through which cyclohexane can be manufactured, viz., hydrogenation of benzene and cracking of natural gasoline. Cyclohexane can also be employed as a solvent in chemical synthesis and reaction diluents. Cyclohexane is also utilized as a starting material for KA Oil and can be used as a substitute for benzene in some end-user applications. Cyclohexane is employed in various end-use industries such as paints & coating, automotive, textiles, construction, and thermoplastics.
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In terms of application, the global cyclohexane market can be segmented into adipic acid, caprolactum, and others, which includes cyclohexane 1-2 diol and cyclohexanecarbolic acid. Caprolactum is anticipated to be a major application segment of the cyclohexane market during the forecast period due to the increasing demand for nylon 6 in various end-use industries. In terms of grade, the cyclohexane market can be segmented into reagent grade and industrial grade. Technology development coupled with rising investment in various end-use industries such as automotive, textile, and construction are expected to boost the demand for cyclohexane during the forecast period. Additionally, the rising demand for high performance thermoplastics that incorporate nylon as a base material due to its characteristics features such as high tensile strength, low coefficient of friction, and friction to chemical, heat, and abrasion is anticipated to propel the demand for cyclohexane in the near future.
The cyclohexane market was primarily driven by the increasing demand for adipic acid and caprolactum, which are key elements for manufacturing Nylon-6,6 and nylon 6, respectively. These fibers are majorly employed in the automotive and textile industries. Developing countries such as Saudi Arabia, India, and China are witnessing an increased investment and significant rise in demand for nylon-6,6. This, in turn, is likely to offer a considerable opportunity for the cyclohexane market. However, volatile raw material prices are likely to hamper the expansion of the market, as most of these materials are downstream products of petrochemicals. Depletion of non-renewable resources and stringent regulations on VOC-emitting compounds have encouraged various researchers as well as manufacturers to opt for bio-based raw materials for the production of cyclohexane, which is projected to further provide substantial opportunities for manufacturers in the near future.
In terms of demand, the countries in North America and Europe were the leading markets for cyclohexane. However, the financial downturn and Euro zone crisis, have hampered the expansion of the market in Europe. In North America, the U.S. is a leading consumer of cyclohexane, whereas China holds a prominent share of the cyclohexane market in Asia Pacific. Demand for cyclohexane is considerable in the region due to increasing disposable income and increasing FDI investment in the automotive and construction industries of the region. Demand for cyclohexane is likely to rise in the Middle East due to the increasing number of nylon polymer production facilities in the region. Regions such as Latin America and Central Europe are estimated to witness lower demand for cyclohexane due to low product awareness and capacity expansion. However, increasing investment and capacity expansion are anticipated to boost the demand for nylon 6, nylon-6,6, which in turn is likely to propel the cyclohexane market in these regions.
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Key manufacturers operating in the cyclohexane market include Sunoco Chemicals, BASF SE, ExxonMobil Chemical, Cheveron Philips Chemical Company, and Huntsman Corporation.