Nonene (Propylene Trimer) and Tetramer
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Published: June 2011
Nonene and tetramer are branched olefins produced by the polymerization of propylene. Nonene is also referred to as propylene trimer; the former is the more commonly accepted name. Tetramer is also referred to as propylene tetramer or branched dodecene. Once manufactured primarily as components of polymer gasoline, these products are now valued primarily for chemical use. Major applications, shared by derivatives of both nonene and tetramer, include plasticizers, surfactants, lubricating oil additives and polymerization modifiers.
The following pie charts show world consumption of nonene and tetramer.
Over the forecast period, demand for nonene is expected to increase at an average annual rate of almost 2.5%. Consumption growth is forecast to be most significant in Asia, followed by Central and South America, as well as Central and Eastern Europe. Future demand in North America is expected to be negatively impacted by a further decline in consumption of nonene for nonylphenol.
Isodecyl alcohol accounted for more than 50% of global demand for nonene in 2010. Exxon is the dominant player, accounting for more than 90% of total output. Other important applications include nonylphenol and neodecanoic acid. Future growth is highly dependent on the markets in these core applications. Production of nonylphenol is expected to increase substantially only in geographical areas with no regulation, where cost-effectiveness is the primary objective and the use of nonylphenol ethoxylates is not restricted.
Over the forecast period, demand for tetramer is expected to increase at an average annual rate of about 2.5%. Consumption growth is forecast to be most significant in Asia, followed by Central and South America, as well as Central and Eastern Europe.
The North American and Western European markets for tetramer-based lubricating oil additives are flat, but there will likely be continued growth in the export market for formulated lube oil additive packages containing detergents based on dodecylphenol produced in these regions. Significant volumes of tetramer are exported to Asia for use by the few remaining producers of dodecylbenzene, although this market is falling in North America and Western Europe.