Glycerin is one of the most technically versatile chemicals in existence, with a combination of chemical and physical properties. Another interesting factor about glycerin refers to its compatibility with other chemicals. In addition, it also offers the facility of flexibility that can be suitable for different industrial applications. The versatility of the applications of glycerin is also responsible for increasing the demand for refined glycerin across different industries such as global chemicals manufacturing, food production, and personal and home care.
Therefore, the global glycerin market can look at promising opportunities for future growth. According to Fortune Business Insights, the size of the global glycerin market would reach around USD 2,405.5 Million by 2027 at an expected CAGR of 5.2%. Let us reflect more on how the glycerin market can become a significant aspect of the existing global business scenario.
Chemical Composition of Glycerin
Glycerin is basically a simple poly compound with a combination of sugar and alcohol. The chemical formula of glycerin, C3H8O3, is strikingly similar to the structure of isopropyl alcohol. The physical appearance of glycerin is colorless, and it is non-toxic in nature. Glycerin has a sweet taste due to its sugar content. From a chemical perspective, glycerin is trihydric alcohol known for solubility and hygroscopic properties.
Production of Glycerin
The production of glycerin is spread throughout the world, with notable manufacturing hubs concentrated in the United States, Europe, South America, and Southeast Asia. The most important thing to note about the production of glycerin refers to the fact that it is the byproduct of other manufacturing processes. Basically, you can infer that glycerin cannot be produced intentionally and relies on two primary manufacturing for production. Here are the two primary manufacturing processes focused on producing glycerin as a byproduct.
- Chemical manufacturing processes using base oils such as coconut oil, palm oil, or palm kernel oil for producing fatty alcohols and fatty acids.
- Bio-diesel production processes using the base oils alongside other oils such as olive, soy, and rapeseed for producing methyl esters, which are blended into diesel for creating a bio-diesel product
Bio-diesel is the biggest industrial source for producing glycerin, with a contribution of over 60% to the global glycerin supply. The factors such as higher biodiesel mandates in Europe and the tax credit for blenders in the US have substantiated their position among top biodiesel producers in the world. Europe is presently the largest biodiesel producer and accounts for almost 50% of the world’s biodiesel production along with the US.
Applications of Glycerin
The applications of glycerin are also one of the foremost factors that present opportunities for the future growth of the glycerin industry. Glycerin finds applications across various industries such as cosmetics, automotive, medical, and the food industry.
- The humectants and emollient properties of glycerin make it suitable for cosmetic products, especially in moisturizers.
- Glycerin finds applications in the food industry, primarily as a preserving agent, sweetener, and emulsifier.
- Glycerin finds applications in the medical sector for making medicines palatable and also finds users in IV fluids.
- Glycerin is used in the automotive industry as a permanent anti-freeze used in radiator cooling systems and is also found in protective coatings.
Therefore, the glycerin market has many opportunities for expanding its growth by capitalizing on various favorable market factors. With many other potential uses of glycerin, it is inevitable to explore business opportunities with it.