Dodecanol also called as Lauryl alcohol or 1-dodecanol is classified as a fatty alcohol. It is a colorless, tasteless solid with a floral smell. It is manufactured by hydrogenation of palm kernel or coconut oil fatty acids. The major use of dodecanol is as a chemical intermediate for the manufacture of dodecyl sulfate and dodecyl ethoxylate. Additionally, it is used as a vital raw material in the manufacture of surfactants. It is also used in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, lubricating oils, flavoring agents and as an emollient among other.
The primary driver for dodecanol market is the growing personal care market. The emergence of products such as fabric softeners, skin care products and fatty alcohol based detergents are driving the market for dodecanol. The growth of this market is significant in the developing third world countries, where the manufacturing bases are finding new ground. Dodecanol can be used in many forms such as alcohol ethoxylate and sulfates, which are used as wetting agent and emulsifiers in paints and coatings. Growth of the paints & coatings market is expected to augment the demand for dodecanol. A restraining factor for this market is that it is acutely toxic to marine organisms and it is an eye irritant, hence it requires safe handling and disposal.
The surfactants market has undergone an evolution from tallow to vegetable oil to synthetic surfactants and to fatty alcohol surfactants. Over the past few years the use of dodecanol for surfactants has declined in North America, Western Europe and Japan. There has been a surge in demand for dodecanol in developing regions such as South Africa, Brazil, China, Malaysia and Indonesia as new producers have started operating facilities in these countries.Dodecanol market can be broadly segmented on the basis of applications, such as anionic surfactants, quaternary ammonium compounds for detergents, nonionic surfactants, coatings & inks, PVC plasticizers, water treatment, lubricant additives and flavors & fragrances among others. Dodecanol can be compounded with many functional groups which impart special properties to it and set it apart from the pure form of dodecanol.
The end use of dodecanol can be classified into four broad categories, namely, personal care, household detergents, industrial & hard surface cleaning and other uses. Under personal care, dodecanol can be used in its pure form or as alcohol ethoxylate or as esters or as quaternary ammonium salts. The end uses for these forms of dodecanol are creams, lotions, skin products, bath oils, lipsticks, medicated cosmetics and sunscreen agents. For use in these products, dodecanol acts as a thickener, carrier, opacifier, anti static and sheen agent. For use in household and industrial detergents, dodecanol acts as a dispersant, foam controller, wetting agent, foam stabilizer and germicidal carrier. It finds application in laundry products, wool washing, scouring cleaner and fabric softener.
For use in other industries like textiles, leather, plastics, pharmaceuticals and paper, dodecanol imparts properties such as that of a leveling agent, bacteriostat, water evaporation retardant, coupling agent, plasticizer and anti corrosion agent. In addition to this, lauryl alcohol ethoxylate which is a derivative of dodecanol can be used for silicon and wax emulsification, in colorants manufacturing and electroplating industry. Out of all these applications, dodecanol has widespread application in the surfactants market. Besides imparting fragrance, dodecanol also acts as a carrier, thickener and foam controller. These properties make it an excellent and irreplaceable ingredient for surfactants.
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