San Jose, California -- The global tetrahydrofuran (THF) market will exceed 800 kilotonnes (kt) in 2017, according to a report by market researchers, Global Industry Analysts Inc.
The group made the claims in its recent publication, 'Tetrahydrofuran: A Global Strategic Business Report,' noting that with the global economy entering a second phase of recovery in 2011, the chemical sector is witnessing replenished demand in various end-use markets.
THF, a highly flammable, clear liquid, is used in the production of polyurethane stretch fibres, coatings, adhesives and as a reaction solvent. Its largest regional market is currently Asia-Pacific, according to the report, where it is growing at a rate of between 10-12 percent annually. The Asia-Pacific market is set to surpass 400 kt by 2015, the report stated, due to a growing demand for spandex fibres.
Global Industry Analysts said that among THF's end-use markets, polytetramethylene ether glycol (PTMEG) represents its largest and fastest growing area. The report also noted that sustainable alternatives to petroleum-based THF's, such as 2-methyltetrahydrofuran (2MeTHF) which use corncobs and sugar cane as feedstock, are becoming more popular.