Ethane Market Synopsis: —
The global ethane market was valued at USD 608 million in 2018 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.14% during the forecast period. Ethane belongs to the family of paraffins. It contains two carbons atoms and have molecular formula C2H6. It is a flammable, colorless, and odorless gas at standard temperature and pressure. It is produced majorly from natural gas on an industrial scale, where it is isolated from other natural gas fractions such as methane and propane using different cryogenic distillation techniques. It is also produced to some extent as a by-product of petroleum refining. Ethane is available in different purity grades to meet the requirement of diverse industries
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The chief use of ethane is in the industrial production of ethylene by steam cracking. Ethylene, itself, is then used for manufacturing polyethylene, which is used for manufacturing food packaging (sandwich bags, cling wraps, squeeze bottles), non-food packaging (liners for tanks & ponds, shrink & stretch film, moisture barrier in construction), automotive parts, and other household products. Ethylene is also used for ethylene glycol, PVC, polyester, polystyrene, ethanol, vinyl acetate monomer, and others. Ethane is also used to produce acetic acid, which itself is used as a chemical intermediate to form chemicals such as vinyl acetate monomer, acetic anhydride, terephthalic acid, ester, and other chemical solvents. Ethane is used as a refrigerant in cryogenic refrigeration systems. It also finds application as a calibration gas mixture to check and calibrate the laboratory instruments.
Growing polyethylene demand across various industrial verticals are largely driving the global ethane market. Increasing use of ethanol as a biofuel is also contributing significantly to the growth of the product market. Shale gas boom in the US is supporting the growth of the global ethane market positively, since the production of ethane is now possible at a very competitive cost compared to the days when primarily naphtha is used. Furthermore, the growing demand for ethane as a refrigerant owing to its environmentally friendly characteristics (reduces ozone depletion and global warming) compared with typical refrigerants made of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), or hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) is expected to provide growth impetus to the product during the forecast period. The biggest opportunity for ethane market growth is in power generation, where the pricing, higher heat value, and far less emission content of ethane competes favorably with LNG.
The global ethane market has been segmented by application, end-use industry, and region.
Based on application, the global ethane market has been segmented into ethylene synthesis, acetic acid synthesis, refrigerant, and others. Among them, the ethylene synthesis segment held the largest market share in 2018 due to the widespread use of ethylene across various end-use industries. The segment is also projected to grow at a fastest CAGR during the forecast period.
Based on end-use industry, the global ethane market has been segmented into packaging, automotive & transportation, building & construction, electricals & electronics, healthcare, power, and others. The packaging segment is dominating the global ethane market based on end-use industry in 2018 due to the large-scale consumption of polyethylene, PVC, polyester, and polystyrene manufactured from ethane in the packaging industry. Apart from this, power industry segment is expected to grow at an encouraging CAGR during the forecast period due to the favorable performance characteristics of ethane over LNG.
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The global ethane market has been studied with respect to five regions, namely, Asia-Pacific, North America, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa. Asia-Pacific held the largest market share in 2018 and is expected to grow at a fastest CAGR during the forecast period. North America accounted for the second largest market share in 2018, which is further trailed by Europe. The Middle East & Africa market and Latin America markets are expected to show increasing growth during the forecast period.
Some of the key players operating in the global ethane market are Royal Dutch Shell PLC (the Netherlands), Merck KGaA (Germany), Air Liquide (France), Praxair Technology Inc. (US), Reliance Industries Limited (India), The Williams Companies Inc. (US), DCP Midstream LLC (US), Energy Transfer Partners LP (US), American Ethane (US), Enterprise Products Partners LP (US), Devon Energy Corporation (US), Targa Resources Corp. (US), Aux Sable (US), Boardwalk Louisiana Midstream, LLC (US), and Enbridge Inc. (Canada).
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