Published October 2015
Ethyleneamines are used in a wide range of applications, primarily as reactive intermediates used to produce other useful chemical products. Although there have been some advancements in end-use markets in terms of chemistry and technology, the functionality requirements of ethyleneamines products have changed very little.
Ethyleneamines are used in the production of chelating agents, agricultural compounds (mainly fungicides), lube oil additives, oil field chemicals, and paper wet-strength resins, and in surfactants and fabric softeners. They also have applications in pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and urethane chemicals/catalysts.
The United States is the leading consuming region at 26%, followed by China (21%), Other Asia (17%), and Western Europe (13.5%). Overall consumption increased 4.7% between 2014 and 2015, and is projected to increase by 3.7% annually during 2015–20. Of these major regions, China is projected to have the highest growth rate at just over 6%, followed by Other Asia (almost 5%), the Middle East (about 4%), and Central and South America (about 2.5%).
The following pie chart shows world consumption of ethyleneamines:
The following will have an impact on global growth in consumption of ethyleneamines in various compounds during 2015–20.
The construction market, which includes adhesives and sealants, asphalt additives, concrete admixtures and protective coatings, is projected to grow at 3–5% annually, led by growth in Asia.
Wind power capacity will continue to expand, increasing demand for ethyleneamines in the production of wind turbine blades. Over the past ten years, wind power capacity has grown at rates of over 30% annually to around 120 gigawatts (GW) in 2008, with forecasts to over 240 GW in 2012, which is growth in excess of 20% annually. Conservative growth estimates project capacity at 351 GW in 2020 and 494 GW in 2030, but it could be much higher. As blades have grown in length (up to 75 meters), lower-molecular-weight ethyleneamines such as ethylenediamine are being used more, as are polyetheramines since they cure more slowly, making the blades stronger.
Wind power capacity will continue to expand, increasing demand for ethyleneamines in the production of wind turbine blades. Historically, TETA and AEP had been the ethyleneamines of choice and remain that way for smaller blades. However, as blades have grown in length (up to 75 meters), lower-molecular-weight ethyleneamines such as ethylenediamine are being used more, as are polyetheramines since they cure more slowly, making the blades stronger.
Water treatment chemicals, including chelating agents, are forecast to grow around 2% annually during 2015–20, led by growth in Asia and, in particular, China.
Lubricants are forecast to grow 2–3% annually during 2015–20. Growth is driven by increases in motor vehicles (regional) and manufacturing (regional).
Oil field chemicals are forecast to rise at a rate of 2–4% annually, driven by increased drilling activity, as producers strive to maintain production levels, and as deepwater drilling and shale oil/gas extraction increase. DETA, TEPA and some higher amines are being used in this application as corrosion inhibitors, demulsifiers and neutralizers.
Overall ethyleneamines demand is forecast to grow at a rate of 3.8% annually during 2015–20, with Asia growing the fastest.