Published August 2014
World consumption of benzyl chloride increased at an average annual rate of 5.6% from 2009 to 2013. This consumption growth was driven mainly by increases in China and India. Consumption in India and China will continue to grow the most rapidly, with expected annual growth rates of about 5.8% and 4.4%, respectively, during the next few years. The market for benzyl chloride is mature in Western Europe and demand will grow at a rate of only 1% annually during 2013–2018. In the United States, benzyl chloride consumption is expected to increase at an average rate of about 3% per year. Growth in demand is expected to be relatively stronger in Central and South America, Central and Eastern Europe, and the Middle East and Africa, albeit from a small basis, while the remaining regions such as Canada, Mexico, Other Asia and Oceania will continue to have minimal consumption and only modest growth. Japan’s market is expected to remain flat.
Benzyl chloride is consumed in the production of benzyl alcohol (accounting for about 40% of total benzyl chloride consumption), benzyl cyanide (17%), benzyl quaternary ammonium compounds (15%), and benzyl phthalates (13%), with the remainder consumed for benzyl esters and other products.
The following pie chart shows world consumption of benzyl chloride:
Benzyl chloride consumption for the production of benzyl alcohol has increased and will continue to increase strongly in China and India. In China, benzyl alcohol is used increasingly in a variety of applications including epoxy resin diluent, perfumes, flavors, personal care and pharmaceutical products, and solvents. In India, benzyl alcohol is the largest benzyl chloride market and is mainly exported to Western Europe and the United States. It is also consumed domestically for pharmaceuticals, fragrances and other uses. In Western Europe, benzyl chloride consumption for benzyl alcohol production is the largest market use. Only slow growth is expected for this market in such areas as solvents, ballpoint pen inks and chemical intermediates. There is no benzyl alcohol production from benzyl chloride in the United States or Japan.
Benzyl chloride used for benzyl cyanide production occurs primarily in China. It is expected to have only modest increases, but will remain the largest market for benzyl chloride in China. Benzyl cyanide is a precursor to the manufacture of penicillin G; it is also used in minor amounts for pesticides, flavors and fragrances.
Benzyl chloride use for benzyl quaternary ammonium compounds (benzyl quats) is a major global market. In the United States, benzyl quats are expected to grow as a result of increasing use in biocides, oil and gas applications, personal care, and other product areas. China will continue to see strong growth in the water treatment and biocides markets. Growth in the use of benzyl quats in Western Europe will be driven by the water treatment and pharmaceutical industries. Growth in other regions, such as India, Central and South America, Central and Eastern Europe, and the Middle East and Africa, will also be driven by benzyl chloride use in benzyl quats production.
Consumption of benzyl chloride in the benzyl phthalates market occurs mainly in the United States and Western Europe. The United States will experience moderate growth resulting from the recovery in the construction and housing markets, although growth will be somewhat limited by environmental issues. In Western Europe, benzyl chloride consumption for benzyl phthalates will experience no growth because of environmental concerns about certain phthalates. Chinese consumption for benzyl phthalates will have good growth as a result of favorable performance characteristics by the phthalates.
Overall, world consumption of benzyl chloride is expected to grow at an annual rate of 3.5% during 2013–2018.