Trimethylolethane or 2-hydroxymethyl-2-methyl-1,3-propanediol is a colorless non-toxic organic compound. The chemical structure of trimethylolethane mainly contains 3 hydroxyl groups in a compact neopentyl structure. Trimethylolethane largely finds its application as an intermediate in the production of polyester resins, powder coating resins, stabilizers for plastics, and synthetic lubricants based on polyol esters. Through process of nitration it is used in preparation of trimethylolethane trinitrate which acts as a liquid explosive similar to that of nitroglycerin. The major regions that dominate the market the market for trimethylolethane and other neopentyl polyhydric alcohols are Europe, followed by Asia and the U.S. and then rest of the world (RoW). The prime reason behind this is the continued requirement in the coatings sector followed by requirements in various other sectors.
Trimethylolethane is prepared through two stepped process starting from condensation of propionaldehyde along with formaldehyde. This process is then followed by cannizaro’s reaction to give trimethylolethane at its output along with excess formaldehyde which is then removed by distillation under pressure. Trimethylolethane has stable neo pentyl structure which makes trimethylolethane widely suitable in wide range of applications including those of resins. The applications in alkyd and polyester liquid resins make trimethylolethane highly appropriate in architectural coatings, powder coatings and coatings for transportation and maritime industry. This application largely dominates the use of trimethylolethane and is in wide demand across the globe. The property of superior corrosion resistance, better abrasion resistance along with reduced discoloration in coating resins makes it better than various similar groups of compounds. The trimethylolethane is also used in preparation of oil-free polyester resins which posses outstanding colour retention. The polyesters prepared by trimethylolethane which when siliconized can offer enhanced heat and weather resistance. Also trimethylolethane acts as one of the best compound in surface treatment of titanium dioxide thus improvising its properties and providing with resistance to discoloration by heat. Also trimethylolethane is used in synthetic lubricants which are based on polyol esters. The other applications include solid phase heat storage medium makes it apposite for applications like insulated fabrics, solar energy storage devices.
The major market for trimethylolethane and other neopentyl polyhydric alcohols is Western Europe largely due the use of trimethylolethane in coatings sector which are in great demand across several industries. China is one the largest markets that uses trimethylolethane for coatings segment. This application of trimethylolethane in coatings has largest share amongst all its other uses. The wide array of application makes the market for trimethylolethane to flourish across several countries across globe. The trimethylolethane based alkyds show better drying times and offer spectacular harness properties making them widely accepted as compared with other polyols. These applications are in wide demand across Asian countries like China, Japan and others. This will propel the market for trimethylolethane even further. Titanium dioxide is used in vast range of consumer goods and industrial applications like coatings, paperboard, plastics and adhesives. However to make it suitable for several applications surface treatment is done. Trimethylolethane is one of those several compounds that are used widely in surface treatment of titanium dioxide. This makes the market for trimethylolethane highly important and is expected to grow at steady pace across this segment. Overall the growth of trimethylolethane market is expected to be highest in Asia-pacific and Middle East (RoW) followed by countries in Europe and North America.
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