Gamma butyrolactone (GBL) is a colorless, oily and transparent hygroscopic liquid with ketone like odor. Gamma butyrolactone (GBL) is a fine chemical intermediate that is used in manufacturing of various chemical compounds. It is used as an anesthetic & pacifier and for synthesis of Interferon and Ciprofloxacin in the pharmaceutical industry. Gamma butyrolactone (GBL) is also widely used in agricultural and forestry fields apart from being used for manufacturing capacitors, batteries (electrolytic solution) and photographic films. Gamma butyrolactone (GBL) also acts as an antioxidant, plasticizer, extracting agent, dispersing agent, absorbent and coagulating agent. China is the leading producer of gamma butyrolactone (GBL) and accounts for over 60% of the global production.
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Gamma butyrolactone (GBL) Market: Dynamics
The primary derivative of gamma butyrolactone (GBL) is Tetrahydrofuran (THF), which consumes more than 50% of the gamma butyrolactone (GBL) that is produced globally. Gamma butyrolactone (GBL) is also used as an intermediate in the production of herbicides, as a growth regulator in plants, for the production of thiodibutyric acid used in rubber production, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and printing inks, as an extracting agent in petroleum industry and as a stabilizer in chlorohydocarbons and electrical industry. China consumes about 45% of the global gamma butyrolactone (GBL) production. Industrial grade gamma butyrolactone (GBL) has a wide range of applications in synthesis of pyrrolidone series products, in photo industry, in medicinal preparations to absorb alkyne, in textile industry as a fiber spinning solvent & anti-static reagent, in resin industry as antioxidant and as a plasticizer in polymer industry. Common grade gamma butyrolactone (GBL) is generally used in agrochemical industry in synthesis of pesticides, plant growth regulator & weed killer and in pharmaceutical industry as an intermediate. Electric grade GBL is used in electric batteries in the form of electrolytic solution and in capacitor production. This class gamma butyrolactone (GBL) is also used as a sedative and anesthetic in medical profession.
However, there are strict regulations on production and consumption of gamma butyrolactone (GBL) in different regions due to its use as a recreational drug. Until 1999, it was previously used in the U.S in nutritional supplements as it stimulates sleep-related hormone before it was banned. Besides, the volatile costs of raw materials such as butadiene, n-butane and propylene are further affected by changing costs of natural gas, coal or crude oil, thereby affecting the cost of gamma butyrolactone (GBL).
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Gamma butyrolactone (GBL) Market: Segments
On the basis of purity, the gamma butyrolactone (GBL) can be segmented as:
- Industrial Class (5 wt. %)
- Common Class (8 wt. %)
- Electric Capacitance Class (9 wt. %)
On the basis of applications, the gamma butyrolactone (GBL) market can be segmented into:
- Agrochemical industry
- Electrical industry
- Food industry
- Pharmaceutical industry
- Petroleum industry
On the basis of geographic regions, the gamma butyrolactone (GBL) market can be classified into:
- North America
- East Asia
- South East Asia
- Middle East & Africa
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Gamma butyrolactone (GBL): Regional Outlook
China being the leading producer of gamma butyrolactone (GBL) virtually controls its pricing globally. North America and Europe consumes around 20%-25% of the global supply. Asia Pacific consumes around 65% of global gamma butyrolactone (GBL) produced. As there are regulations on production and consumption of gamma butyrolactone (GBL) in North America and European region, the production is likely to increase at a steady rate. Some countries like the Netherlands have completely forbidden the import and export, manufacturing or possession of gamma butyrolactone (GBL). Other countries have formulated laws which could lead to imprisonment for not having license to manufacture, sell or possess gamma butyrolactone (GBL). The consumption of gamma butyrolactone (GBL) in Asia Pacific is expected to further increase due to growth in battery, pharmaceutical and agrochemical markets .In recent years, the market has been driven by an increase in production of spandex used in textile industry. The increase in production of polytetramethylether glycols (PTMEG), a derivative of gamma butyrolactone (GBL) has also resulted in the rise of demand in the market.
Gamma butyrolactone (GBL): Key Players
There are many key players in the market. Some of them are BASF, Boai NKY, Realsun Chemical, Changxin Chemical, Mitsubishi Chemical, Ruian Chemical, Ashland, LyondellBasell, Puyang Guangming Chemicals, Binzhou Yuneng Chemical, Lutianhua Group, Xuchang Ruida Biology Technology, Jinlong Chemical, Dairen Chemical and others.
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