The Rising Demand for 1,3 Propanediol


1,3 Propanediol (PDO) is a colorless organic alcohol that is gaining widespread attention due to its versatility and increasing demand globally. Often referred to as “green propanediol”, PDO is commonly used in the manufacturing of various products including polytrimethylene terephthalate (PTT) fiber, personal care items and as a solvent. Let’s take a deeper look into the market dynamics that are driving the growing demand for this sustainable chemical worldwide.

Increasing Use in Manufacturing Polyester Fibers
With an estimated annual growth rate of 20%, the usage of PDO in manufacturing polyester fibers is fueling much of the current demand. PTT, a polyester made from PDO, is increasingly becoming popular as a substitute for polyester and nylon. Some key advantages of PTT fiber include moisture wicking properties, wrinkle resistance and durability. Major clothing brands such as Nike and Adidas have started incorporating PTT fabrics into their lines of sports and activewear due to these beneficial properties. With the global textiles market expected to grow at 4% annually through 2025, the demand for PDO in fiber production is projected to rise significantly.

Rising Popularity in Personal Care Products
Recent years have seen a surge in the application of  1,3 Propanediol  in personal care formulations. Its non-irritating nature and ability to penetrate the skin barrier make it suitable for use in products like deodorants, creams and lotions. Additionally, PDO can effectively retain moisture in hair and skin without leaving a greasy residue. This has led major cosmetic companies to utilize PDO as a key ingredient. The expanding personal care industry valued at over $500 billion globally will continue fueling the incorporation of PDO into various skincare and hair care items.

Growing Role as a Renewable Solvent
Due to its favorable properties as a green solvent, PDO finds increasing usage as an alternative to volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Its low toxicity, high solubility and easy bio-degradability present PDO as an eco-friendly solvent choice. Areas witnessing notable rise in PDO adoption are cleaning products, paints & coatings and pharmaceutical formulations. With stringent regulations pushing for less hazardous solvents, the solvent market for PDO is expected to witness double digit growth through the decade.

Rising Popularity for Other Applications
While textiles, personal care and solvents make up bulk of current demand, innovative applications of PDO continue emerging. Its use as a component for bioplastics and performance polymers holds promise. Some industries showing potential include agrochemicals where PDO serves as an active ingredient and embalming solutions where it acts as a preservative. Further advances in converting biomass and agricultural waste to PDO also bode well for its sustainability credentials leading to newer opportunities.

Substantial Investments Driving Supply
To match the spectacular rise in demand, significant capacity expansions are underway globally. Major players in the PDO market such as DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products and Galactic have announced multi-million dollar investments towards increasing production runs. These industry leaders are simultaneously developing enhanced fermentation technologies to derive PDO from renewable feedstocks. Additionally, newer entrants from China and other Asian countries are setting up dedicated facilities that will come online within the next 2-3 years. Such substantial investments signal optimism towards sustained high growth rates for this bio-based monomer well into the future.

The unique characteristics exhibited by PDO coupled with the thriving downstream industries has translated to exponential increase in its worldwide consumption. With massive planned capacity additions and ongoing R&D to lower costs, PDO is positioned to play an integral role as a building block chemical of the future. Its renewable sourcing and eco-friendly nature aligned well with sustainability goals also strengthen the long term bullish outlook for this game changing bio-monomer. Continued developments on new frontiers will drive robust global demand momentum in the span of the next decade and beyond.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it