A brief introduction of cellulose ether

Cellulose ether is natural cellulose (refined cotton and wood pulp, etc.) as raw materials, after etherification of a variety of derivatives, is the cellulose macromolecule hydroxyl hydrogen by ether group partially or completely replaced after the formation of products, is the downstream derivatives of cellulose. Cellulose can be dissolved in water, dilute alkali solution and organic solvent after etherification, and has thermoplastic properties. Cellulose ether variety, widely used in construction, cement, coating, medicine, food, petroleum, daily chemical, textile, paper and electronic components and other industries. According to the number of substituents can be divided into single ether and mixed ether, according to ionization can be divided into ionic cellulose ether and non-ionic cellulose ether. At present, ionic cellulose ether ionic product production process is mature, easy to make and relatively low cost, relatively low industry barriers, mainly used in food additives, textile additives, daily chemical and other fields, is the main production products on the market.

At present, the world’s mainstream cellulose ether is CMC, HPMC, MC, HEC and other several, CMC output is the largest, accounting for about half of the global output, while HPMC and MC both account for about 33% of the global demand, HEC accounts for about 13% of the global market. The most important end-use of carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) is detergent, accounting for about 22% of the downstream market demand, and other products are mainly used in building materials, food and medicine.

Ii. Downstream application

In the past, due to the limited demand development of cellulose ether in daily chemicals, medicine, food, coatings and other fields in China, the demand for cellulose ether in China is basically concentrated in the field of building materials, until today, the building materials industry still occupies 33% of the demand for cellulose ether in China. And like China’s cellulose ether in the field of building materials demand has become saturated, in daily chemicals, medicine, food, coating and other fields of demand is growing rapidly with the development of application technology. For example, in recent years, the plant capsule with cellulose ether as the main raw material, as well as the emerging products made of artificial meat with cellulose ether have broad demand prospects and growth space.

In the field of building materials, for example, cellulose ether with thickening, water retention, slow condensation and other excellent characteristics, so building materials grade cellulose ether is widely used to improve the performance of building materials products including ready-mixed mortar (including wet mixed mortar and dry mixed mortar), PVC resin manufacturing, latex paint, putty, etc.. Thanks to the improvement of the level of urbanization in China, the rapid development of the building materials industry, the level of construction mechanization continues to improve, and consumers’ environmental requirements for building materials are becoming higher and higher, leading to the demand for non-ionic cellulose ether in the field of building materials. During the 13th Five-Year Plan period, China accelerated the renovation of rundown areas and dilapidated houses in cities, and strengthened the construction of urban infrastructure, including accelerating the renovation of clustered rundown areas and villages in cities, and orderly promoting the comprehensive renovation of old residential areas and renovation of dilapidated old houses and non-complete sets of housing. In the first half of 2021, 755.15 million square meters of residential space was started, up 5.5 percent. The completed area of housing is 364.81 million square meters, up 25.7%. The rebound of the completed area of real estate will drive the relevant demand in the field of cellulose ether building materials.

3. Market competition pattern

China is a global cellulose ether production country, at the present stage of domestic building materials grade cellulose ether has basically achieved localization, Anxin Chemistry leading enterprises in the field of cellulose ether, other major domestic manufacturers also include Kima Chemical etc. Coating level, pharmaceutical food grade cellulose ether is currently mainly the United States Dow, Ashland, Japan shinetsu, South Korea Lotte and other foreign monopoly. In addition to Anxin chemistry several more than ten thousand tons of enterprises, thousands of tons of non-ionic cellulose ether small production enterprises, most of these small enterprises produce ordinary model building materials grade cellulose ether, and no strength to produce more high-end food and pharmaceutical products.

Four, cellulose ether import and export situation

In 2020, due to the overseas epidemic led to the decline of foreign enterprises’ production capacity, China’s cellulose ether exports showed a rapid growth trend, in 2020 to achieve the export of cellulose ether 77,272 tons. Although the export volume of cellulose ether in China grows faster, the export products are mainly based on building materials cellulose ether, while the export volume of medical and edible cellulose ether is very small, and the added value of export products is low. At present, the export volume of cellulose ether in China is four times the import volume, but the export volume is less than two times the import amount. In the field of high-end products domestic cellulose ether export substitution process is still a large space for development.

Post time: Jun-07-2022