The largest outlet for ethylene oxide (EO) is ethylene glycol (EG), which accounts for three-quarters of EO consumption globally. Monoethylene glycol (MEG) is the primary glycol which is used mainly to make polyester followed by automotive antifreeze.
The second largest market for EO is in surface active agents, primarily non-ionic alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs) and detergent alcohol ethoxylates (AEs).
Ethylene oxide demand is expected to grow at around 5%/year globally. However, there is some concern that the planned increases in capacity will outpace demand growth in the 2008-2011 period, leading to some overcapacity.
Nearly all the world's EO capacity is based on direct oxidation of ethylene in the presence of a silver oxide catalyst. The oxygen route is generally preferred over the air process in larger plants due to higher yields and less downtime.
Ethylene oxide is the simplest cyclic ether and is a highly reactive, colourless gas due to the strain in its ring structure. It reacts violently with many compounds. EO is flammable over an extremely wide temperature range in air.
ICIS pricing gives you access on a weekly or real time basis to the latest price movements and critical market commentary on the Ethylene Oxide market. Click below to see a quarterly market overview.
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The largest outlet for ethylene oxide (EO) is ethylene glycol (EG), which accounts for three-quarters of EO consumption globally. Other derivatives include ethoxylates, ethanolamines, glycol ethers and polyethylene glycols.
More about Ethylene Oxide Uses and Outlook
Ethylene oxide (EO) was initially manufactured using ethylene chlorohydrin as an intermediate, but this route has been superseded by the direct oxidation of ethylene with air or oxygen. Now, nearly all the world's EO capacity is based on direct oxidation, with oxygen generally preferred over the air route in larger plants due to higher yields and less downtime.
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