The global cyclohexanone market is projected to reach USD 9.8 billion by 2027, expanding at a revenue-based CAGR of 3.3% over the forecast period, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc. Growing automobile production, especially in Asia Pacific is anticipated to have a positive impact on the product demand.

Cyclohexanone is typically manufactured as an intermediate in the cyclohexane to caprolactam process. Apart from the traditional manufacturing processes, manufacturers have developed a novel and sustainable production process. The hydrogenation of a feed stream comprising phenol to produce cyclohexanone and cyclohexylbenzene was one such successful process developed and patented by ExxonMobil in June 2016.

In recent years, the automobile industry has witnessed robust growth, especially in Asia Pacific. Infrastructure development, improving socio-economic trends, growing disposable income, and rapid urbanization are the major factors contributing to the growth of the automobile industry. Raw materials account for over 45% of the overall manufacturing cost of the vehicles. nylon 6 and nylon 66 find application as films and coatings in the automotive industry to prevent raw materials from corrosion. Also, it is used in the production of different parts such as gears, bushes, cams, bearings, and weatherproof coatings due to its lightweight and versatile properties.

According to Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d’Automobiles (OICA), global automotive production grew from 89.8 million units in 2014 to 95.6 million units in 2018 with the growth dominated by Asian countries. Growing production of different types of vehicles and their components due to increasing R&D activities is expected to drive the demand for nylon, in turn propelling the consumption of cyclohexanone.

The cyclohexanone demand in Europe is anticipated to grow at a sluggish rate due to low nylon demand from the downstream automotive industry. There was a price drop of nylon 66 from May 2019 to July 2019, owing to the constant supply and decreased demand. In 2016, around 16% of the nylon consumed in the region was either recycled or refurbished, which decreased the demand for new nylon, further affecting the prices.

Further key findings from the report suggest:

  • Adipic acid application segment in cyclohexanone market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 3.1% from 2020 to 2027 on account of rising production of nylon 66 resin and fiber, polyurethanes, and plasticizers
  • Pharmaceutical industry, soap manufacturing, and film production consume 2.71% of the total cyclohexanone manufactured globally
  • U.S. was the second-largest consumer of cyclohexanone after China in 2019 and is anticipated to register a CAGR of 2.6%, from 2020 to 2027, owing to the rising production of caprolactam in the country
  • Europe and North America together consumed 24% of the total cyclohexanone in 2019, with the presence of major manufacturers such as BASF SE, Ascend Performance Materials, and Advansix Inc.
  • Production of cyclohexanone is anticipated to face hindrance from regulatory bodies, due to excessive Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, leading to manufacturers investing in R&D activities to develop new environment compliant technologies for the chemical production
  • In 2016, the Japanese manufacturer Ube Industries Ltd, adopted a new manufacturing technology through selective hydrogenation of phenol. This process consumes less electricity and steam compared to the conventional cyclohexane process.