Polyol esters are a form of esters formed by the esterification of fatty acids. The term ’polyol esters’ is an acronym for neopentyl polyol esters, which are obtained by the reaction of monobasic acids such as HNO3 and HCl along with polyhedric alcohols which have neopentyl structure. Polyol esters are named after the alcohol which is utilized as its starting material. Polyol esters are known to be highly stable compounds due to their chemical structure. Their high thermal stability enables these compounds to be employed in applications which involve high temperatures.
Polyol esters possess more ester groups as compared to diesters, increasing their viscosity, which makes them suitable to be utilized in lubricants. Their increased viscosity coupled with superior thermal stability make them a perfect substitute for various diesters, specifically in the field of lubricants. Various forms of polyol esters are available, as various acids can be reacted to obtain polyol esters having different length of fatty acid chains. Common types of polyol esters include trimethylolpropanes (TMPs), pentaerythritols (PEs), neopentyl glycols (NPGs), and di-pentaerythritols (DiPEs).
Polyol esters are employed extensively in jet engine lubricants. Polyol esters are being utilized in this field for the last 40 years. No other compound has been used as its substitute since it would affect the lubricity, and this is likely to eventually hamper the working of the component. Polyol esters are employed along with Polyalphaolefin (PAO) Synthetic Oils in passenger car motor oils. Polyol esters are utilized as synthetic refrigeration lubricants in industries. Other applications of polyol esters include fire resistant transformer, high temperature grease, textile lubricants, and fire resistant hydraulic fluids.
Superior qualities of polyol esters such as thermal stability, high lubricity, and better viscosity makes them a sought-after compound. Rise in population in developing countries and their demand for better transport facilities and automotive sector are key factors driving the expansion of the market of polyol esters. Furthermore, the simultaneous expansion of the automotive industry is anticipated to increase the demand for polyol esters as lubricants in the near future, which is projected to boost the expansion of the market in the near future. However, higher price tag of polyol esters as compared to other diesters may prove to be a major restraint for the market of polyol esters in the near future.
Asia Pacific is a prominent and rapidly expanding market for polyol esters. The major reason for the development of the polyol esters’ market in Asia Pacific is due to increase in domestic usage in the automotive as well as industrial sector. The market in Europe is developed since the utilization of synthetic lubricants has increased over the last few years, making it a potential market during the forecast period. The scope for expansion of the market in North America is considered to be high due to its demand in industries and the automotive sector.
The expansion of the market in Middle East & Africa is considerable due to the expansion of the automotive sector in the region. Expansion of the polyol esters market in Latin America is slow as compared to other regions due to presence of limited industries and manufacturing units which are likely to require lubricants.
Key players operating in the global market for polyol esters include INOLEX, Purinova Sp. z oo, Ultrachem Inc., Calumet Specialty Products Partners, L.P., Vantage Performance Materials, KLK OLEO, Dow Chemical Company, Huntsman Corporation, Chemtura Corporation., and Shell Chemicals Ltd.
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