Antifreeze agents, also referred to as coolants, are added to water in several industries, such as automotive, oil and gas and others, to lower the freezing point and raise the boiling point of the mixture, subsequently preventing the system from freezing or overheating. In addition to this, antifreeze agents also protect a system from rust and other corrosion. They are also used in the oil and gas industry where natural gas pipelines are installed under sea, where the temperature is extremely low. Antifreeze agents prevent blockages across the pipelines, which might be caused due to freezing, and also protect against corrosion due to salt water. An ideal antifreeze agent has a high thermal capacity, low viscosity and is chemically inert and doesn’t react with any other material inside the engine or pipeline. The use of antifreeze agents has led to significant reduction in maintenance costs. In the absence of antifreeze agents, there would be extreme pressure generated inside the system, which could lead to severe damage. A number of antifreeze agents are supplied for both light duty and heavy duty vehicles.
The long term outlook for antifreeze agents is projected to remain positive, owing to the rising demand from the automotive industry and increasing vehicle parc, mainly in cold countries. These agents protect a vehicle’s engine from freezing or overheating and also prevent corrosion and scale formation. The boom in the oil and gas industry in North America, owing to the production of shale gas, is projected to boost the demand for antifreeze agents over the forecast period.
There has been an increase in the use of antifreeze agents for other non-conventional applications such as heat transfer agents and coolants in geothermal pumps and air conditioning systems. They are also used as de-icing agents for aircraft.
The disposal of antifreeze agents has been a major cause of concern and stringent environmental regulations by regulatory bodies, such as U.S. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), govern the manufacture and disposal of these antifreeze agents.
With the emergence of electric vehicles, growth of antifreeze agents is expected to witness a decline, mainly for the automotive sector over the latter half of the forecast period.
In terms of regional perspective, Asia Pacific is projected to dominate the global antifreeze agents market. This can be attributed to the rising vehicle production and vehicle parc in countries, such as China and India. North America is projected to create significant demand from the oil and gas industry, pipelines, etc. Europe and the Middle East and Africa are projected to hold significant shares in the global market, whereas other regions, such as Latin America, are projected to hold a relatively smaller share.
Some of the key players identified across the value chain of global antifreeze agents market are:
Continental Chemical USA
Royal Dutch Shell
KOST USA, Inc.
Sinopec Corporation China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation
Mitan Mineralöl GmbH
FUCHS Petrolub AG
Exxon Mobil Corporation
As a part of business strategy, leading manufacturers are entering into long-term partnerships with automotive OEMs for the long term supply of antifreeze agents.
1. In 2012, BASF SE entered into an agreement with Romtec in Romania and Top Oil Services in the Czech Republic and Slovakia for the expansion of its engine coolant brand Glysantin in Middle and Eastern Europe.
2. Attributing to rising concerns regarding the disposal and toxicity of such chemicals, manufacturers are focusing on the use of bio-based raw materials and alternatives for antifreeze agents.
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