Acetaldehyde: Explained with Applications
Acetaldehyde is an organic chemical compound that has the chemical name Acetaldehyde. It has the molecular formula C2H4O which appears to be a colourless organic liquid. It has a pungent odour that is suffocating. It is soluble in water, non-corrosive to many metals, and can damage organs like the liver. Its molecular weight is 44.05 g/mol, and its density is 0.784 g/cm3. Its boiling point is 20.2 °C, and its melting point is -123.5 °C. Its prolonged exposure can have adverse effects as it is quite toxic. It is commonly used as an intermediate for producing acetic acid and for manufacturing drugs, perfumes, dyes, and flavouring agents, among others.
Acetaldehyde market is being significantly fuelled by its major applications, such as its primary use in the production of chemicals. Furthermore, it is used to produce acetic acid, manufacture resin, disinfectants, etc. It also finds use in the production of polyvinyl acetate as a precursor to pyridine derivatives, crotonaldehyde, and pentaerythritol. In the food sector, it is used as a preservative for fish and fruit and for making vinegar, yeast, etc. In addition, as a solvent, it is employed in many industrial processes like the manufacturing of paper, leather tanning, and rubber. It is used for producing n-butyraldehyde, as a denaturant for alcohol, as a hardener for gelatin fibres, in fuel mixtures, and in glue and casein products.
Production of Acetaldehyde
- From Ethylene: The production of acetaldehyde takes place by the Wacker process, which includes ethylene’s oxidation using a homogeneous palladium/copper system for yielding acetaldehyde. This process is among the most prominent routes for industrially preparing acetaldehyde.
- From Ethanol: In this process, the production of acetaldehyde is done via ethanol’s partial dehydrogenation. Then, in the endothermic process, the vapour ethanol gets passed at 260–290 °C over a catalyst based on copper in order to produce acetaldehyde and hydrogen gas as a by-product.
- From Acetylene: The production of acetaldehyde via acetylene’s hydration is carried out using mercury(II) salts as a catalyst. The reaction takes place at a temperature of 90–95 °C, and the acetaldehyde formed gets split from water and mercury and chilled.
- From Acetic Acid: The production of acetaldehyde takes place via acetic acid hydrogenation. It is generated as a by-product of Ethyl acetate.
Key Players Functioning in the Acetaldehyde Industry
- Merck KGaA
- Jubilant Life Sciences
- LCY Chemical
Acetaldehyde Price Trend Analysis
The price of Acetaldehyde displayed a fluctuating sentiment in the USA market recently. During the beginning, the prices of Acetaldehyde dipped due to the feeble cost pressure from the prices of feedstock Ethanol. The demand from final user industries, such as food preservative sector, have stayed suppressed, whereas the availability of surplus material pressured down the Acetaldehyde price. But, in the later stages, prices of Acetaldehyde recovered on the back of elevated prices of feedstock Ethanol. The restricted availability of materials and enhanced demand from the end-user market resulted in a rise in price in the regional market. Even though the prices of Acetaldehyde fell on the back of bearish demand dynamics amidst off-season dullness. In the meantime, an adequate inventory level was available to cater to the overall regional demand.
The prices of Acetaldehyde displayed a swaying trend in the Asia-Pacific region. The prices of Acetaldehyde fell in the Chinese market due to subdued demand from downstream food preservative industries along with other competitive markets amidst the slow customer sentiment in the regional market. Yet, the prices rose owing to the end-user industry’s improved demand. In addition, the constant implementation of lockdown during the zero covid policy impacted the manufacturers as they faced a shortage of labour paired with a disruption in the supply chain, which mostly pertained to logistical limitations. In spite of this, the prices obtained downward momentum. Furthermore, production activity reduced as the Covid-19 outbreaks persisted in pressuring both the demand and output. As a result, as per many authorities, purchasing manufacturing index sank under 50 (i.e., 49.4), implying both a contraction in manufacturing and industrial activity.
The Acetaldehyde prices saw a mixed market sentiment in Europe in the beginning. The prices of Acetaldehyde sank lately because of ample availability of material and frail demand from the food preservative and other competitive markets. The prices of feedstock Ethanol are reduced, which results in low Acetaldehyde production costs. Even though the prices of Acetaldehyde recuperated recently due to the high-cost pressure from the feedstock Ethanol. Based on domestic production, the rates of operation stayed under check since the prices of energy persisted in climbing higher. In spite of that, the industry transactions have operated at a lower level as the inflationary pressures have impacted the downstream demand. Furthermore, the USA and Asia imports witnessed port congestion in the main trading ports of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Antwerp. Also, Germany saw labour unrest, and logistics continued to face pressure, which restricted the availability of the material in the domestic market.
- September 2022- Archit Organosys Ltd declared its plans for expansion/diversification and backward and forward integration at its current factory plot based in Bhavnagar as well as Naroda Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC), Ahmedabad, Gujarat. In the approaching years, the company has plans to invest about INR 60 crores (USD 7.28 million) in products, including ethyl acetate, acetaldehyde, and butyl acetate, among others. The company also integrated a fully owned subsidiary called Archit Life Science Limited for producing acetaldehyde and other chemicals.
The market dynamics of Acetaldehyde have been covered in detail. The post includes the definition, major applications, and production methods, along with price analysis and market supply-demand study. The blog aims to give the procurement specialist a summary of the current market situation with a focus on pricing and the competitive landscape.