Isobutane Market

Isobutane Market Study by Bio-based and Synthetic for Refineries, Refrigerants, Propellants, Feedstock (Plastics), Solvents, and Others from 2024 to 2034

Analysis of Isobutane Market Covering 30+ Countries Including Analysis of US, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Nordics, GCC countries, Japan, Korea and many more

Isobutane Market Outlook (2024 to 2034)

Revenue from the global isobutane market is projected to increase from US$ 9.86 billion in 2024 to end up at US$ 18.17 billion by the end of 2034, which equals a rise at a CAGR of 6.3% from 2024 to 2034.

The need for isobutane is on the rise due to its employment in several fields, ranging from refrigeration to the fuel industry. Isobutene, which is also known as I-butane, is a chemical compound that is an isomer of butane.

Isobutene, a colorless and odorless gas, leaves no stain or lingering smell, making it a preferred isomer. Isobutane occurs naturally in both natural gas and crude oil, contributing to its popularity over other isomers with potentially adverse environmental effects. Isobutanes, characterized by their negligible global warming potential and zero ozone depletion, are widely preferred as substitutes for other hydrocarbons. This quality has positively influenced the isobutane market growth, particularly as scientists intensify efforts to combat global warming by seeking out eco-friendly chemical compounds.

Key Market Growth Drivers

  • Due to its thermodynamic properties, isobutane is predominantly utilized in refrigeration systems as an alternative to conventional refrigerants. This has led to a consistent increase in isobutene sales over time.
  • Isobutane has strengthened its position in the petrochemical industry, serving as a precursor molecule for various processes, including the synthesis of isooctane. This usage has driven up sales and contributed to the expansion of the isobutane market size.
  • Isobutane, being a pure hydrocarbon, has long served as a blowing agent for select plastic materials. Isobutane improves their quality in polymer extrusion and expansion processes. As the demand for plastics rises, so does the demand for isobutane.
  • In many industries dealing with scrap materials, isobutane is used as a dissolving agent to remove old paint from various surfaces.
  • The market is poised for expansion as isobutane finds increased usage in sectors such as aerospace, mining, and manufacturing, offering new avenues for suppliers to diversify their business portfolios and reach a broader customer base.
Report Attribute Detail
Isobutane Market Size (2024E) US$ 9.86 Billion
Forecasted Market Value (2034F) US$ 18.17 Billion
Global Market Growth Rate (2024 to 2034) 6.3% CAGR
Canada Market Growth Rate (2024 to 2034) 6.8% CAGR
China Market Value (2034F) US$ 3.82 Billion
North America Market Share (2024E) 28.6%
East Asia Market Share (2034F) 38.4%
Key Companies Profiled ExxonMobil Corporation; Chevron; Sinopec; Air Liquide; Shell Plc; Praxair; LyondellBasell Industries; Gazprom; Bioenergies; Valero Energy Corporation; Equinor; Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation; ConocoPhillips.

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What are the Isobutane Market Trends That Manufacturers are Leveraging?

“Reliance of High-octane and High-purity Gasoline Production on Isobutane Alkylation”

Isobutane/butene alkylation reaction stands out as a pivotal refining process due to its production of high-octane, high-purity gasoline, significantly contributing to the gasoline pool. Traditionally, this process relied on hydrofluoric and sulfuric acids industrially, which posed significant safety, corrosivity, recyclability, and sustainability challenges. This has prompted the need for research and development into more efficient, environmentally friendly, and sustainable catalysts.

Key players in the petroleum industry are increasingly opting for isobutane over other catalysts, given its desirable properties. This shift has boosted the demand for isobutane in recent years. The potential scarcity of resources and escalating climate and environmental changes are projected to further drive up sales of isobutane.

“Rising Isobutane Use in Food Packaging as Foaming Agent”

Isobutane is designed for use as a foaming agent, with a maximum concentration of 4.5%, to produce expanded polystyrene (EPS) for packaging goods like fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, and cheese at room temperature or below. In Europe, isobutane is permitted as a food additive (E 943b) and can serve as a gas propellant in professional vegetable oil pan spray and water-based emulsion spray.

At room temperature, isobutane exists as a gas. It is a highly pure saturated hydrocarbon unlikely to undergo reactions under the processing conditions necessary for producing foamed polystyrene materials and products.

Considering the above facts, it is reasonable to conclude that isobutane doesn't pose a safety risk to consumers when used as a foaming agent in polymers intended for food contact applications.

What’s Affecting the Profit Margins of Isobutane Manufacturers?

“High Inflammability of Isobutane and Safety Concerns Regarding Isobutane Handling”

Given its high inflammability and safety risks, the demand for isobutane across various applications could potentially decline. Isobutane poses an explosive hazard and necessitates careful handling.

The use of isobutane as a refrigerant in household and commercial air conditioners and refrigerators might prove detrimental, resulting in a significant reduction in its application in home appliances. Substantial fluctuations in natural gas prices, coupled with stringent government regulations and trade policies, are expected to impact the demand for isobutane in the coming years.

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Country-wise Analysis

The market's future is not confined to any single country or region. Sales of isobutane are projected to rise at a significant pace thanks to its eco-friendly attributes. The Japanese market is projected to grab an isobutane market share of 28.8% by the end of 2034 in East Asia.

What is Pushing Manufacturers to Expand Their Business in the United States?

“Decline in Isobutene Prices Creating Opportunities for Exports”

Attribute United States
Market Value (2024E) US$ 2.02 Billion
Growth Rate (2024 to 2034) 6.7% CAGR
Projected Value (2034F) US$ 3.89 Billion
  • According to the United States Energy Information Administration, prices for isobutene have notably declined.

This has facilitated increased consumption of isobutane across various industries. Suppliers are now establishing their enterprises in the country to bolster sales and enhance their presence. Furthermore, the reduced price has opened up opportunities for increased exports to other regions, offering industry players new opportunities to thrive in a lucrative business environment.

How Has Industrial Sector Growth Influenced Sales of Isobutane in China?

“Extensive Production of Isobutane Due to Expansion of Industrial Infrastructure”

Attribute China
Market Value (2024E) US$ 2.05 Billion
Growth Rate (2024 to 2034) 6.4% CAGR
Projected Value (2034F) US$ 3.82 Billion

China stands as a major producer and consumer of isobutane, with significant chemical and petrochemical output driving its consumption. The presence of numerous manufacturers in the country further bolsters this trend. In recent years, the growth of the manufacturing and industrial sectors has led to heightened isobutane production and demand. This growth is largely attributed to the rapid expansion of large manufacturers and industrial infrastructure.

Consequently, some manufacturers are relocating to China to manufacture their products and establish connections with petrochemical players, thereby enhancing their sales potential.

Category-wise Insights

Based on source, sales of bio-based isobutane are projected to increase at a CAGR of 6.7% from 2024 to 2034. As bio-based isobutanes have excellent fuel performance compared to ethanol isobutane has a higher energy density, lower oxygen content, and hygroscopicity. All these factors are contributing to isobutane market growth.

Which Source is Widely Preferred by Isobutane Suppliers?

“Increasing Demand for Sustainable Solutions and Versatility of Synthetic Isobutane”

Attribute Synthetic Isobutane
Segment Value (2024E) US$ 6.18 Billion
Growth Rate (2024 to 2034) 6% CAGR
Projected Value (2034F) US$ 11.12 Billion

Synthetic isobutane serves as a viable alternative to traditional refrigerants like R-12, R-22, and R-134a. This versatility has enabled synthetic isobutanes to capture a significant market share, outpacing bio-based isobutanes. As refrigeration technology advances, the market share of synthetic isobutane is projected to increase even further.

The appeal of synthetic isobutane lies in its compatibility with existing systems and its ability to meet regulatory standards. Unlike bio-based isobutanes, synthetic isobutane does not require significant modifications to existing equipment. This makes it a convenient choice for manufacturers and consumers alike.

Synthetic isobutane offers comparable performance to traditional refrigerants while boasting lower environmental impact and greater energy efficiency. These factors contribute to its increasing adoption across various industries, including HVAC, automotive, and refrigeration.

In anticipation of stricter environmental regulations and the growing demand for sustainable solutions, the market for synthetic isobutane is poised for significant expansion. As manufacturers and consumers prioritize eco-friendly alternatives, synthetic isobutane is well-positioned to meet the evolving needs of the refrigeration industry.

Know thy Competitors

Competitive landscape highlights only certain players
Complete list available upon request

Business Competition

Key market players in the isobutane industry are working on boosting output to cater to the increased demand from end consumers. To strengthen their market position, they are purchasing other producers and expanding their consumer base. Several firms are investing in research and development to expand the uses for isobutene, contributing to the evolving isobutane market trends such as the introduction of isobutylene and polyisobutylene in the product line.

  • In April 2022, Evonik, a renowned specialty chemicals company, boosted its isobutane derivative production capacity at the C4 Verbund plant in Marl, Germany, by more than 50%.
  • In July 2020, Thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions AG and BASF SE agreed
    to expand its collaboration on the STAR process.

Key Segments of Isobutane Market Research

  • By Purity :

    • 99%
    • 99.5%
    • 95%
    • Others
  • By Source :

    • Bio-based Isobutane
    • Synthetic Isobutane
  • By Application :

    • Refineries
    • Refrigerant
    • Propellants
    • Feedstock (Plastics)
    • Solvents
    • Others
  • By Region :

    • North America
    • Latin America
    • Eastern Europe
    • Western Europe
    • East Asia
    • South Asia & Pacific
    • Middle East & Africa

- FAQs -

How big is the isobutane market in 2024?

The global market for isobutane is estimated to reach US$ 9.86 billion in 2024.

What are the projections for the isobutane market through 2034?

The isobutane market has been forecasted to expand at 6.3% CAGR and reach US$ 18.17 billion by 2034.

What is the forecasted market size for isobutane in the United States?

Sales of isobutene in the U.S. are forecasted to reach US$ 2.02 billion in 2024.

Which country accounts for a significant market share in East Asia?

China is estimated to reach a market valuation of US$ 2.05 billion in 2024.

Which source of isobutane accounts for a leading market share?

Synthetic isobutane accounts for 37.3% of the market share in 2024.

What is the estimated value of the market in Japan?

Japan is projected to reach a market value of US$ 1.1 billion in 2024.

What is the projected market size for bio-based isobutene in 2024?

Bio-based isobutane is estimated to account for a market value of US$ 3.68 billion in 2024.

- Also of Interest -

Isobutylene Market

Isobutylene Market By Grade (< 99%, > 99%), By Function (Additive, Intermediate, Antioxidant), By End-use Industry (Fuel, Rubber, Chemical & Cosmetics, Lubricants), By Region - Global Market Forecast 2020-2030

Polyisobutylene (PIB) Market

Polyisobutylene (PIB) Market By Product (Conventional, Highly Reactive), By Molecular Weight (High, Medium, Low) By End Use (Automotive, Industrial, Food, Other End Uses) & Region - Global Market Insights 2023-2033

Di-isobutylene Market

Di-isobutylene Market By Grade(Below 95%, 95%-98%, Above 98%), By Application (Stabilizer, Lubricants, Silicones, Oxidation inhibitors, Anti-wear additives, Rubber) - Global Review 2019 to 2029

Isobutane Market

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