Cetane number is a measure of quality of ignition for diesel fuel. It indicates the time delay between injection and actual ignition of the fuel. Higher the cetane number, lower is the ignition delay, better is the ignition quality, more complete is the fuel combustion and better is the overall performance. In case of lower cetane number, higher is the overall time delay. Diesel fraction obtained from sour crude, blending of diesel with biodiesel or ethanol result in lower cetane number. Cetane number improver or simply cetane improver is that additive which is used to increase cetane number of diesel fuel.
These Cetane number improver compounds are used in the concentration ranging from 0.06% to 0.4% and result in effecting increase in the cetane number by nearly 3 to 8. Thus, use of cetane number improvers result in improvement in overall ignition characteristics of diesel fuel. Moreover, cetane number improvers offer several advantages such as easy ignition of fuel, lowering smoke emission, wear reduction, smoother engine operation, among others. Cetane number Improvers are generally alkyl nitrate compounds which are decompose at higher temperatures and lower the initial boiling point of diesel fuel. Ethyl hexyl nitrate and Di-tertiary butyl peroxide (DTBP) are some of the commonly used as cetane number improver compounds.
Global cetane number improver market is expected to witness a steady growth during forecast period. Blending of biodiesel with conventional diesel results in a blend having relatively lower cetane number. Government regulations, especially in countries such as Brazil, U.S., Argentina, Germany and Spain, among others, pertaining to mandatory blending of biodiesel with diesel are expected to gain momentum during forecast period. As such, the demand for cetane number improvers is expected to in turn witness a steady growth during forecast period.
Furthermore, increasing diesel fuel consumption in power generation and other application areas is expected to drive the growth in demand for cetane improvers over forecast period. Also, increasing preference for diesel fuel exhibiting complete combustion characteristic along with low exhaust emissions, is another factor that is expected to fuel the growth of additives like cetane improvers, antifoaming agents, cleaning additives, among others. However, relatively complex and precarious process involved in cetane number improver production coupled with relatively higher prices of these chemical compounds is expected to act as an impediment to growth of overall global cetane number improver market during forecast period.
Global cetane number improver market can be divided into seven major regions including North America, Eastern Europe, Asia Pacific, Japan, Latin America, Western Europe and Middle East & Africa. North America and Europe are expected to account for significant shares in overall global cetane number improver market during forecast period, however, developing regions such as Asia Pacific and Latin America are expected to register relatively faster growth during the same period. Stringent regulatory guidelines over the fuel characteristics in regions such as Europe and North America are expected to be major factors that are expected to drive the increasing demand for cetane number improvers in these regions over forecast period. Initiatives such as those in European Union, directed towards increasing use of biofuels in transportation sector are expected to in turn boost the demand for cetane number improver over the forecast period.
Some of the players operating in global cetane number improver market include BASF SE, The Lubrizol Corporation, Innospec Specialty Chemicals, Chevron Oronite Company LLC., Eurenco, Nitroerg SA, Cestoil Chemicals Inc., Kutch Chemical Industries Ltd., EPC-UK, Dorf-Ketal Chemicals India Private Limited among others.
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