The Aprotic solvents market size was valued at US$14.265 billion in 2020 and is anticipated to increase at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 3.47% over the predictive period to reach US$18.112 billion by 2027. Acidic protons are absent in aprotic solvents. As a result, they are unable to participate in hydrogen bonding as proton donors. They lack hydroxyl and amine groups, unlike polar solvents. Although they cannot give protons, polar aprotic solvents are of special importance because of their capacity to dissolve salts. Aprotic solvents include several hydrocarbons and chlorocarbons. Acetone (H3C-(C=O)-CH3), Ethyl acetate, DMSO, dimethyl sulphoxide ((CH3)2S=O), DMF, N, N-dimethylformamide (C3H7NO), HMF (hydroxymethylfurfural), Oxolane/tetrahydrofuran (THF), crown ethers, and acetonitrile (CH3CN) are some examples of aprotic solvents. Aprotic solvents have a variety of uses in the oil and gas, paint and coatings, pharmaceutical, agricultural, and plastics industries.
Oil and Gas Industry to Drive the Demand for Aprotic Solvents
In recent years, the expanding oil and gas sector has experienced tremendous breakthroughs and advancements. The world's major oil and gas businesses have benefited enormously from the turmoil of war and climate collapse, with immense joint profits in only the first three months of 2022. This has also led to an increase in the demand for aprotic solvents in the industry.
From January to March, Shell generated US$9.1 billion in profit, about three times more than the same period last year, while Exxon made US$8.8 billion, nearly three times more than in 2021. Chevron increased its profits to US$6.5 billion, while BP made US$6.2 billion in its first quarter, the most in a decade. Coterra Energy, a Texas-based company, increased its profits by 449 percent year over year to US$818 million.
Additionally, with countries breaking ties with Russia, over its human rights violations, oil supply from other countries has started to increase in demand, leading to a positive scope for the aprotic solvents market. Hence, the demand for aprotic solvents is expected to increase in emerging countries.
Environmental Concerns of Aprotic Solvents
Most medical and industrial uses require solvents. The negative impact of solvent losses and emissions motivates efforts to reduce or eliminate them. Due to their remarkable polarities and solubilities, dipolar aprotic solvents (DMSO, DMF, DMAc, NMP, and others) have been widely used in organic synthesis and pharmaceutical research. However, most of these solvents are not eco-friendly, due to their negative effects on human health and environmental hazards caused by their inherent toxicity, large wastewater streams, and high energy input requirements. The growing need for dipolar aprotic solvents in pharmaceutical research and development, as well as other chemical processes, exacerbates this perilous condition. As a result, one of the most essential aspects of green chemistry is reducing and eliminating the usage of such solvents.
Environmental contamination and a growing need for energy have sparked interest in biomass-based products as an alternative to petroleum-based products in recent years. To date, much work has gone into addressing this issue, which has included the creation of green and new reaction systems that meet a variety of conditions that are also satisfied by standard dipolar aprotic solvents. Bio-based fuel production is a fast-growing subject that encourages the discovery of compounds with promising potential in this area. Renewable resources, such as biomass, may be used to make biofuels and bio-based compounds. This might lead to more effective greenhouse gas emissions management and a circular economy. Lignocellulosic biomass resources, which are made up of cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin, are one of the most promising sources of biofuels, bio-additives, and biochemicals, because they do not compete with agricultural food crops as vegetable oil biodiesel does. Levulinic acid is a platform chemical that can be synthesized from lignocellulose and can be co-produced from the acid treatment of sugars and starch. Levulinic acid may be used to make a variety of compounds, including -valerolactone, 2-methyltetrahydrofuran, and alkyl levulinates; and also possesses similar properties to aprotic solvents to an extent.
Asia-Pacific Region to Lead the Market
During the projected period, the Asia-Pacific region is predicted to be the largest and fastest-growing market for aprotic solvents. The market is expected to develop due to factors such as increased use in the pharmaceutical, paints, and oil and gas industries. The increasing oil production in countries like China contributes to the growing market share of the Asia Pacific region.
Moreover, the utilization of aprotic solvents in the production of insecticides, fungicides, pesticides, and other chemicals in the agricultural sector is expected to drive the demand, owing to the increasing agriculture sector in the region. Agricultural production in countries like India and China holds a major share of the global production, owing to the favorable climate and the abundance of fertile land in the region. Moreover, with the adoption of high-yielding crops and rapid developments in the agricultural sector, the Asia Pacific region is expected to grow even further.
The outbreak of COVID-19 caused a global economic slump. Since various governments imposed lockdown measures and social distance regulations, most critical sectors have experienced significant losses. Along with the closure of many major industries, the oil and gas demand also faced a decline, due to the closure of most factories and the decline of vehicle movement. According to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2021, Oil consumption fell by 9.1 million barrels per day, leading to a drop in global oil production by 6.6 million barrels per day. Natural gas consumption also fell by 81 billion cubic meters or 2.3% in 2020. With the decrease in oil and gas demand in most parts of the world, the aprotic solvents market suffered huge losses.
However, the aprotic solvents market saw a positive demand from the pharmaceutical industry, due to the increasing infection cases. Increased healthcare sector growth has been helped by the use of bio-based dipolar aprotic solvents as intermediates in medicinal preparations.
With most industries going back to their normal state, and with the advancements in the pharmaceutical and agricultural sectors, the aprotic solvents market is expected to increase in demand.