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Published: April 2013
1,4-Butanediol is a bifunctional, primary alcohol with various industrial applications. The major uses are in the production of tetrahydrofuran (an intermediate of spandex and other performance polymer production) and polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) resins for engineering plastics. It is also used in the manufacture of gamma-butyrolactone and polyurethane elastomers.
China continues to be the world's most active market and will add the most capacity over the forecast period. In 2011, China became the world's largest 1,4-butanediol producing country and will more than double its domestic capacity over the next few years with new world-scale capacity by Henan Kaixiang Fine Chemicals, Guodian YoungLight Energy Co., Shanxi Sanwei Group and Shanxi Chemical, and additional investment by Dairen and BASF.
The following pie chart shows world consumption of 1,4-butanediol:
The 1,4-butanediol industry has attracted significant investment in the development of bio-succinic acid and the production of bio-1,4-butanediol commercially viable from sustainable sources. Major players include BioAmber, Davy, DuPont, Genomatica and Myriant. Various first-generation industrial-scale plants are scheduled to begin operation during the forecast period.
The world's largest producers of 1,4-butanediol include BASF, Dairen Chemical Corp., LyondellBasell, Ashland (formerly ISP) and Xinjiang Markor Chemical Industry. Together these companies account for more than 55% of world 1,4-butanediol capacity in 2013.