Glycerol Market

Glycerol is Estimated to Witness High Growth Owing to Emerging Applications in Personal Care and Pharmaceutical Industries


Glycerol also known as glycerin is a byproduct of biodiesel production and has multiple industrial applications including in personal care and pharmaceutical products. It acts as a humectant, solvent and thickening agent in a variety of cosmetic creams, lotions and hair care products. Glycerol is also used as an excipient in liquid medicines to prevent crystallization at low temperatures. With growing demand for natural ingredients in personal care coupled with increased production of pharmaceutical products, the need for glycerol is surging significantly.

The Global Glycerol Market Share is estimated to be valued at US$ 3.63 Bn in 2024 and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 10% over the forecast period 2024 to 2031.

Key Takeaways
Key players operating in the Glycerol market are QIAGEN, Dicerna Pharmaceuticals Inc., Phio Pharmaceuticals Corp., Arcturus Therapeutics, Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc., Sigma Aldrich (Merck KGaA), Benitec Biopharma Ltd., Silence Therapeutics PLC, SBI Biotech Co. Ltd., Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc., and Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.
The key opportunities in the market include rising use of glycerol in personal care products owing to its emollient properties and ability to retain moisture. Growing demand for pharmaceutical grade glycerol as an excipient also presents an opportunistic area of growth. Additionally, technological advancements focused on developing enzymatic and chemical processes for cost-effective commercial level production of refined glycerol offer new opportunities.

Market drivers
Increasing health and wellness trend has been fueling the demand for personal care and cosmetic products with natural ingredients like glycerol. Expanding pharmaceutical sector especially in emerging nations is another key factor boosting glycerol consumption. Moreover, wide range applications across various end use industries like food and beverage sector acts as a driver for glycerol market.

Challenges in the Glycerol Market

The glycerol market is facing various challenges currently. Oversupply of glycerol due to increased biodiesel production is one of the major challenges. Glycerol is a by-product of biodiesel production and accounts for nearly 10% of the total biodiesel production. Increased biodiesel production over the past few years has led to a considerable oversupply of glycerol in the market. Fluctuating biodiesel policies and incentives across regions add further complexity to glycerol demand-supply dynamics. Finding niche applications and innovative ways of glycerol utilization is crucial to tackle the oversupply challenge. Raw material price volatility is another important challenge. Palm oil and tallow – key feedstocks for glycerol production have highly volatile prices depending on various demand-supply and geo-political factors. Price fluctuations pose challenges for glycerol producers to maintain stable production costs.

SWOT Analysis

Strength: Wide applications in diversified end-use industries like personal care, food and beverages, pharmaceuticals which provides stable demand. Weakness: Oversupply situation and fluctuating biodiesel policies create pricing and demand uncertainty. Opportunity: Development of new and innovative applications of glycerol through continuous R&D expands the market potential. Threats: Raw material price volatility poses cost challenges. Intense competition from substitute products threatens market share in price-sensitive applications.

Geographically, North America accounted for the largest share in the global glycerol market in terms of value in 2024 owing to strong demand from Personal care & Pharmaceuticals industries in the US and Canada. Asia Pacific is anticipated to be the fastest growing region during the forecast period 2024-2031 spurred by increasing glycerol consumption from Personal care products manufacturing in China, Indonesia and India along with burgeoning biodiesel production in China, Japan and India.

Europe is another major regional market for glycerol driven by robust demand from chemical, Personal care and Food & Beverage sectors. Germany and UK are the major European countries absorbing large quantities of glycerol annually. However, oversupply conditions in Europe limit the scope for substantial future growth.