Chemical exist in different form such as solids, liquids, gases or plasma and one form can be changed to another by applying temperature or pressure. Chemical reaction is used to convert one chemical substance into another. Chemicals are used nearly by every industry and economic sector of the country such as energy, oil and gas, agriculture and consumer and retail sector.
Specialty chemicals, also known as effect chemicals, are chemicals which provide different effect when added to different chemical or substances. Specialty chemicals are used under different categories such as adhesives (substance applied at the surfaces of materials binding them together to resist separation), agrichemicals (pesticides such as insecticides, herbicides and fungicides), cleaning materials, cosmetic additives, construction chemicals, elastomers, flavors, food additives (food preservatives such as salt, sugar, vinegar and sulfur dioxide), fragrances, Industrial gases, lubricants, polymers, surfactants (emulsifiers, foaming agents and dispersants), and textile auxiliaries. Industrial sectors such as automobile, aerospace, food, cosmetics, agriculture, manufacturing, textile industries are the major end-user of specialty chemicals.
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Asia-Pacific leads the global specialty chemicals market followed by North America and Europe. Increasing industrial activities in developing countries such as India and China will increases the demand for specialty chemicals in these countries. China and Japan are expected to lead the Asia-Pacific market. Specialty polymers, industrial and institutional cleaners, construction chemicals, electronic chemicals, and flavors and fragrances are the major used specialty chemicals by the manufacturing industry. Rise in disposable income in the developing countries is expected to drive the demand for these products. According to the National Bureau of Statistics China, annual per capita disposable income of urban households in China increased from USD 2,271.0 in 2008 to USD 3408.5 in 2012. The overall medium household income in India has increased from USD 1,164.8 billion in 2011 to USD 1,308.8 billion in 2012.
Increasing industrial activities in the field of cosmetics, food, agriculture and other manufacturing sector in the developing countries such as India and Brazil are expected to increase in coming future, thus increasing the overall demand for specialty chemicals. Additionally, specialty chemicals are increasingly used in water treatment. Introduction of more sophisticated water treatment technologies such as ion-exchange include use of specialty chemicals in industrial water treatment. Government regulation on the use of certain chemical in food processing industry and other manufacturing industry may hinder the growth of global specialty chemicals industry.
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Chemical industry is very much fragmented with many renowned companies operates in this industry. Some of the major companies engaged in the manufacturing of specialty chemicals are
- Chevron Phillips Chemical Company
- BASF SE
- Akzo Nobel N.V.
- Clariant International Ltd
- Evonik Industries AG
- Chemtura Corporation
- Cytec Industries Inc.
- Albemarle Corporation