Acetaldehyde is produced throughout the world primarily from ethylene, although some is still derived from ethanol and acetylene. Demand for acetaldehyde worldwide has continued to decrease primarily as a result of less consumption for acetic acid manufacture, as the industry continues to move toward the more efficient and lower-overall-cost carbonylation-of-methanol process. For example, all manufacture of acetic acid from acetaldehyde in North America has been discontinued and in Europe significant capacity for this process has been permanently shut down. Acetaldehyde use for acetic acid manufacture in Asia continues but is under pressure from the ongoing establishment of methanol carbonylation technology.
Demand has also significantly declined in the production of plasticizer alcohols, which has totally switched to oxo processes. As a result of these process replacements, acetaldehyde capacity has been shut down in Western Europe and in other areas, such as Mexico. In addition to the disappearance of use for acetic acid and plasticizer alcohols, acetaldehyde demand has also declined in the last few years because of mature end-use markets and the effects of the economic downturn on these acetaldehyde-derived products. There has also been continued substituti n for o
acetaldehyde-based chemistries with other materials, which has further contributed to the drop in acetaldehyde use.
The following pie chart shows world consumption of acetaldehyde:
Consumption in China is expected to grow over 5% annually in the n ext five years. Acetaldehyde
use for acetic acid production will increase, although this will be more of a recovery back to the pre-2009 level. Actual growth might be limited because of acetic acid production from the methanol carbonylation process. Strong growth of over 6% annually will actually occur in pyridine production and there will be moderate growth for use in pentaerythritol, as alkyd resin enamel and varnish production goes...
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